RIDGE Preservation Procedure

Preserving Your Jaw Bone after Extraction

Removal of teeth is sometimes necessary because of infection, bone loss, extensive tooth destruction, or fracture of the tooth. The bone that surrounds the root of the tooth holding it in place is often damaged by disease and/or infection resulting in deformity of the jaw after the extraction. In addition, when teeth are extracted, the surrounding bone and gums tend to shrink and recede as a part of the natural healing process.  This leads to unsightly defects and bone deficiency.

These jaw defects can create major problems in performing restorative dentistry whether your treatment involves dental implants, bridges, or dentures. Jaw bone deformities from tooth removal can be prevented and repaired by a procedure called ridge preservation. The procedure is also referred to as socket preservation.  Ridge preservation can appearance and increase your chances for successful dental implants for years to come.

Several techniques can be used to preserve the bone and minimize bone loss after an extraction. In one common method, the tooth is removed and the socket is filled with bone or bone substitute. The hole is then covered with an artificial membrane, or gum tissue.  The bone substitutes (grafts) prevent the collapse of the gums and encourage your body to repair the bone defect. With this method, the socket heals eliminating shrinkage and collapse of surrounding gum and facial tissues. The newly formed bone in the socket provides the foundation for an implant to replace the tooth. If your dentist has recommended tooth removal, be sure to ask if socket (ridge) preservation is necessary. This is particularly important for front teeth and when planning on replacing teeth with dental implants.