Socket Preservation Graft

Preserving Your Jaw Bone after Extraction

The removal of teeth is sometimes necessary because of pain, infection, bone loss, decay or fracture of the tooth. The bone that holds the tooth in place (the socket) is often damaged by disease and/or infection resulting in deformity of the jaw after the tooth is extracted. In addition, when teeth are extracted, the surrounding bone and gums can shrink and recede very quickly after the extraction resulting in significant defects in the bone.

These jaw defects can create problems when attempting to repair the dentition with dental implants.  Jaw deformities from tooth removal can be prevented and repaired by a procedure called a socket preservation graft. With dental implant restorations, socket preservation grafts can greatly increase the chances for an acceptable functional and esthetic result.

This technique is used to preserve the bone and minimize bone loss after an extraction. Once the tooth is removed, the socket is filled with a bone substitute. It is then covered with gum or an artificial membrane.  With this method, the socket heals with minimal shrinkage and collapse of surrounding bone and gum tissues. The newly formed bone in the socket will provide the foundation for the implant.  If your dentist has recommended tooth removal, be sure to ask if a socket preservation graft is necessary. This is particularly important if you are planning on replacing the front teeth.