When you need to have one or more teeth extracted, for any reason, it should be done in a manner which preserves as much of your jawbone as possible.
From the time your teeth are removed, significant degeneration of the surrounding bone begins to occur.
There is a special type of bone surrounding your teeth which exists solely to support your teeth. When a tooth is removed, this bone begins to degenerate and disappear. This degenerative process occurs faster in areas where a partial or complete dentures are worn.
Preserving your jawbone while having a tooth extracted is a two step process.
- Firstly, your dentist should use the most careful extraction technique to avoid unnecessary bone loss and secondly, bone replacement material should be placed in the socket.
- This involves packing the socket with a bone-like material, covering it with a membrane and stitching.
The bone replacement material will support the tissue surrounding the socket, and in time will be replaced by new bone. This bone will provide excellent support should you choose later to have dental implants, although not indefinitely.
Placing dental implants five to twelve months after the extraction and socket grafting will provide the best long lasting support for preserving your jawbone and allow you to function as before. Otherwise the graft may also degenerate or resorb over time.