Socket Preservation

When a tooth is extracted, the bone around the tooth has no function and begins to go away with time (atrophy).  This process occurs most rapidly within the first 6 months following tooth removal.  If allowed to occur naturally, there may be an inadequate volume of bone for placement of a dental implant.  This process can also lead to a deformed ridge contour that may be unpleasing esthetically. 

To prevent this process from occuring and maintain the surrounding bone, a socket preservation bone graft may be placed in the socket following extraction.  The tooth is removed carefully to avoid any damage to the surrounding bone, which could further compromise the final result.  After tooth removal, the socket is cleaned to remove any infected tissue and irrigated with sterile saline.   An allograft, human donor bone from a tissue bank, is placed into the socket to allow for preservation of the ridge contour.  A membrane ("Band-aid") is then placed over the socket to hold the bone graft in place and prevent the gum tissue from growing into the graft.   After several weeks of healing the membrane is removed gently, usually without any anesthetic.   At this time, the gum tissue will continue to seal the bone graft within the bone ridge. 

Complete healing and bone consolidation will take 4-6 months.  At this time the dental implant can be placed into the newly formed bone. 

It is important to have the implant placed at 4-6 months to prevent the continued resorption of the bone graft.  If the patient waits too long, this could lead to the inability to place the implant and the need for more bone grafting.

If you would like more information on Socket Preservation in Dallas by Dr. Marshal Goldberg please email, or call 214-890-7777 


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