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Socket Preservation and Dental Implants: Why It Is Important

Dr. Degel Jan 11, 2018

A single dental implantThe team at Astoria Dental Group offers state-of-the-art cosmetic and restorative dentistry services. For people who are missing teeth in Queens, NY, dental implants may be an ideal option for treatment. These artificial tooth roots can support crowns, bridges, and dentures with a level of stability comparable to natural tooth roots.

Many people get dental implants months after having their teeth extracted. In order to avoid problems with the process, socket preservation may be needed. Let's go over some of the basics of socket preservation and why it may be crucial for the success of an implant dentistry treatment.

What Happens During Tooth Extraction?

After a tooth has been extracted, part of the bone that surrounded the tooth begins to degenerate and disappear. This bone is known as the alveolar ridge bone. This hard tissue exists solely to support a tooth. Loss of the alveolar ridge bone results in an overall loss of density in the jawbone, resulting in less height and width of the remaining bone tissue in the gap that's been left behind.

Bone Loss and Dental Implants

When bone loss occurs, it can lead to problems is you want to get a dental implant placed at a later time. Dental implants are anchored into the jawbone for a secure and stable hold. A lack of bone tissue and density along the area of a tooth gap means that there is less support for a dental implant.

If too much of the bone tissue is lost, a patient will not be eligible to get dental implants. A bone grafting surgery will be required to build up the tissue that was lost. While this is effective, it can be expensive and requires months of healing time.

Additional Problems Linked to Bone Loss

Even for people who are not considering dental implants, loss of bone density along the dental ridge can lead to numerous problems. Teeth next to the gap may shift out of place, which can negatively impact your dental alignment and overall dental wellness. Additionally, the loss of bone density can lead to issues with the fit/comfort of removable dental bridges or dentures.

How Socket Preservation Works

Socket preservation refers to placing a bone graft into the tooth socket after tooth extraction has been performed. The bone graft fills in the socket and prevents the natural loss of alveolar ridge bone tissue. This makes it easier to place dental implants later on without the need for a later grafting procedure.

Donor bone or artificial hard tissue grafts may be used to fill the socket. The ideal option for your needs can be determine during a consultation.

Immediate Implant Placement vs. Socket Preservation

While socket preservation is effective, sometimes a dentist may recommend immediately placing a dental implant after tooth extraction. This prevents the need for socket preservation and allows patients to reduce the overall treatment time and number of dental visits and procedures required.

While immediate implant placement is good for some patients, others may benefit from socket preservation instead. You can discuss the ideal option for your needs with your dentist. Weighing the risks and benefits of each option will help you make the proper choice for your situation.

Learn More About Dental Implants

To learn more about dental implants and whether or not they are a good option for you and your needs, be sure to contact our team of cosmetic and restorative dentists today. The team at Astoria Dental Group is here to help you smile, speak, bite, and chew with renewed confidence.

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