At Streamwood Family Dentistry, your dentists Dr. Lucy Shah & Dr. Kalpit Shah take great pride in education and prevention of dental diseases so our patients don’t have to undergo invasive and costly dental procedures. However, when we experience the loss of a tooth, either through trauma or decay, the bone that surrounds the tooth starts to shrink via a process called resorption.
In theory, this is because the body believes it no longer needs this bony material due to lack of tooth residing within the bone…..kind of use it or lose it!
While this might sound like nothing to worry about, your Streamwood Dentist – is likely to recommend a socket preservation procedure to prevent further complications that follow soon after the loss of a tooth.
You may be wondering at this point…….What Is Socket Preservation?
Socket preservation is another name for what is clinically known as a ‘bone graft’. It’s basically a stop-gap measure for replacing the bone in the hole where the tooth used to reside, so it can heal and provide sufficient bone volume to provide adequate support for gums, surrounding tooth and eventually a replacement tooth with future dental implant therapy.
If nothing is done to stop this resorption of bone, it will likely result in compromised health of surrounding teeth, and make tooth replacement options such as dental implants and other forms of prosthetic alternatives such as bridges and partial dentures unlikely to function properly.
Aside from that, what might be a bigger concern is that the bone height and width determines our facial features, and a loss of that height due to a bone-deficient socket can alter one’s appearance quite noticeably. Because of this, a bone grafting procedure as soon as the tooth is removed (Socket Preservation) is ideal.
There are four types of bone grafts that can be used at the time of the extraction, to preserve ridge integrity. They are:
- Autograft: Bone harvested from the patient’s own body. This is the best type of bone grafting material, however, it comes with a significant cost as one has to be hospitalized and undergo major surgery to harvest the bone from either the chin bone or leg bone.
- Xenograft: Bone grafts or collagen from bovine or porcine origin.
- Allograft: Bone graft from a cadaver that’s been tested and purified to provide the mix of hard/soft bone (cortico-cancellous) ideally suited for socket preservation. This is a very cost-effective and efficient type of alternative deeming it most suitable for a socket preservation type of procedure.
- Alloplast: Synthetic biomaterials such as PLGA, hydroxyapatite, tricalcium phosphate, bioglass – ceramics, etc.
Generally speaking, a bone graft is a surgical procedure where one of the above materials is layered into the socket where the tooth used to exist. Sometimes a resorbable membrane, kind of like an umbrella is necessary to cover the graft so it’s secured in the bony defect allowing the blood supply to formulate and start the healing process after a tooth extraction procedure is completed.
In short, since preserving the bony ridge of your jaw bone is critical to future restorative work and your appearance, it is always wise to consider this procedure when recommended. The benefits of socket preservation will promote optimal oral health of the other teeth in your mouth and help you restore function and esthetics. At Streamwood Family Dentistry, Drs. Lucy & Kalpit Shah are well trained in diagnosing and performing this procedure to benefit our patients. As always, if you have any questions, please feel free to call us @ (847) 740-0217 for an appointment to come see us.