Bone grafting is often required before receiving dental implants. While bone grafting can seem scary, it is normally not as invasive as the patient expects going into the procedure. By understanding exactly what a bone grafting procedure entails, you can properly prepare and minimize any anxieties that may exist before the bone grafting procedure.A bone…
Tooth Extractions and Bone Preservation
What is bone preservation and why would it be necessary? When a tooth has to be removed, due to either impaction or severe decay, the extraction process leaves a space (socket) where the tooth once existed. The jawbone may be sensitive initially, which is the reason the dentist may suggest bone preservation along with tooth extractions. Protecting the bone after tooth removal is essential for various reasons.
Prevent dry socket
One major purpose of bone preservation is to protect the socket from dryness, which could occur if the blood clot protecting the affected area loosens and exposes the nerves below it. Bone preservation also protects the alveolar ridge, the bit of bone that surrounds the tooth root that they are connected to.
If the alveolar ridge suffers any form of defect, it could create complications if you opt for dental implants. The dental expert has to ensure that the bone has sufficient mass for a potential tooth replacement in the future.
The aim of bone preservation
According to the Journal of the Canadian Dental Association, it is usual for the bone supporting the tooth to dissipate after the tooth is extracted, since it no longer serves its purpose. However, when the bone dissolves, spaces will form between the teeth or the teeth may shift out of place. This is why bone preservation is done immediately after tooth extractions.
The socket or alveolar ridge preservation procedure entails putting a bone graft into the space where the tooth was. The graft can be sourced from synthetic materials or human or animal bone. After placing the bone graft in the socket, the dentist will cover the space with collagen membrane before suturing it to keep it adequately protected.
Why is bone preservation necessary?
Bone preservation aims to enhance the look of the existing teeth and gums and make the dental implant placement procedure easier. Many dentists do not perform the process after tooth removal because they do not think it is a vital or valuable procedure.
This opinion is gradually changing because studies have shown that bone preservation helps lessen horizontal or vertical changes in the alveolar ridge close to the point of tooth extraction. If you are considering the procedure, you should have a proper discussion with your dentist.
Care after extraction
It is important to take adequate care of the surrounding areas of the socket after a tooth extraction. This is not only to protect the gum line but also to increase comfort while the socket heals. The dentist might advise you to avoid brushing for at least a day after the removal.
You should also avoid any action that can place undue pressure on the mouth, including smoking or straw usage, for a while after extraction. Also, avoid hard foods that can shift the blood clot and cause dry socket.
If you have any questions about the socket created by tooth extraction, before or after a preservation process, do not hesitate to contact your dentist for advice. The dental expert will suggest what to do if you suffer intense pain or excessive bleeding. Tooth extraction and bone preservation are easy procedures, so provided you follow your dentist’s advice, recovery should be fast.
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