Teeth extraction is sometimes necessary due to various potential oral health reasons. You may require an extraction because of pain, infection, bone loss, or damage to the tooth. When a tooth is extracted, the socket may have underlying damage but a socket left empty could also lead to more extensive damage and deterioration.
Preserving Your Jaw Bone After an Extraction
The socket area under the tooth often has damage to it by the time the tooth is extracted. This may be from infection or gum disease. After the extraction of the tooth, the damage to the area leaves the jaw deformed. If the jaw area is not already deformed, the empty socket can quickly lead to deterioration of the surrounding gum and jawbone.
If not properly preserved, you may experience or notice sinking or collapsing of the lips and cheek near the extraction site. It is best to be proactive when a tooth is removed and prevent issues such as deformity that lead to future problems with dental implants, dentures, and bridges. You can preserve the area through a procedure known as socket preservation.
How Socket Preservation Works
Socket preservation is the best way to ensure that future procedures such as dental implants are successful when you go through a tooth extraction. While you may choose to leave the socket empty for the time being, you may want to consider you may decide to do something in the future.
The most common form of socket preservation is to fill the socket from the extracted tooth with bone or bone substitute. Once the socket has been filled, it is covered with gum, tissue, and/or artificial membrane that encourage your body to naturally heal the socket. Because of the filler in the socket, there is far less shrinking or collapsing in the surrounding area. This provides a firm foundation for future dental work, including implants.