Tooth extractions are some of the most common dental procedures performed today. Extractions are necessary for a variety of reasons, but the result is a gap in the mouth the tooth once occupied. After extracting the tooth, the socket can be sensitive, so your dentist or surgeon may recommend socket preservation to protect the mouth.
But what is socket preservation and why do people get it? Protecting the mouth following surgery is vital, so learning about socket preservation is ideal.
What is Socket Preservation?
Socket preservation (also called alveolar ridge preservation) is a procedure an oral surgeon amy perform after extraction to help prevent bone decay in the mouth. When a tooth is extracted, the bone supporting that tooth is no longer needed. It’s common for that bone to start to melt away due to its lack of use. When the bone fades, it leaves a gap. This new gap in the gums can cause teeth to shift and realign.
A socket preservation procedure involves placing bone graft into the space from which the tooth was extracted. The graft is then covered with a membrane and enclosed with sutures. The graft prevents gaps from forming and keeps the rest of the teeth in position. Socket preservations can typically be done at the same time as the tooth extraction.
Why Should I Get Socket Preservation?
Besides preventing the teeth from shifting, socket preservation can also help avoid a dry socket forming. A dry socket happens when the blood clot in the surgical site is loosened. When the blood clot is knocked loose, the nerve underneath is exposed. Exposure of the nerve can cause severe pain and can compromise the surgical site. Socket preservation also protects the area should you decide to get a dental implant in the future. The procedure ultimately makes the healing process go more smoothly and without a great deal of pain.
Proper self-care following oral surgery is crucial to a speedy recovery. Socket preservation is one way to help the recovery process be a success. Consult a reputable oral surgeon following your tooth extraction to learn if socket preservation is right for you. Dr. Nancy Herbst of Union City Oral Surgery has over 22 years of experience performing oral and maxillofacial surgeries. Contact us at (201) 601-9262 to learn more about our procedures and our practice.