Socket Preservation

Socket Preservation

Socket Preservation is an indispensible procedure, the all-important, fundamental “must have” to bone loss prevention following tooth extraction. Jaw bones have the crucial function of propping up gum tissue and holding onto teeth to keep one’s smile looking beautiful and natural. After the tooth is removed, jaw bones have to be preserved to keep sockets in shape. Preservation as the name has it, is the maintenance of the socket, which is essentially the height and width of the gap that is left after the tooth is removed. It is done by placing a graft material or scaffold immediately into the socket of an extracted tooth to preserve bone height, width and density. Saving the bone thus allows for tooth restoration work to be done successfully.

Without sufficient bone quantity and quality, prosthetic dentistry that includes Dental Implants, Fixed Bridges and Dentures do not have a solid foundation to anchor on. And what turns out may not only be a dent in the wallet for nothing more than an ugly misfit of false replacements hanging above receding gums! Careful management of extraction sockets after tooth extraction prevents unsightly bone loss and provides a better cosmetic outcome for tooth replacement.

The following are other Prosthetic Dentistry options and their sequela if there is insufficient bone present.

Dental Implants

These are artificial tooth and root replacements that resemble and function like a natural tooth. The more bone support there is, the stronger the implant replacements will be. Without socket preservation, the bone can resorb to a point where more complex and costly bone grafting procedures are required to artificially create the necessary support. Preventing bone loss is obviously much easier than regenerating the bone later.

Fixed Bridge

A fixed bridge is a non-removable prosthesis cemented to natural teeth on either side which are used as abutments. Without Socket Preservation, the supporting alveolar bone becomes deficient and there will be an unsightly space under the pontic (artificial tooth) that traps food and may cause speech impediment

Denture

Other replacement alternatives include removable partial or full dentures. These too require solid bone support to function properly as they sit on the ridge like a saddle. (Figure 5)

 


Current Socket Preservation procedures involves grafting bone or similar materials to the socket. There are a number of conventional bone graft materials at the moment which include Autograft, Allograft, Xenograft and Alloplast.