Socket preservation is used to prevent bone shrinkage after tooth extraction. Removing the tooth, especially after infection or gum disease may cause a defect in the bone that can later complicate implant placement or restorative procedures such as crowns and bridges. Socket preservation or ridge repair prevents such defect from happening. Dr. Elseweifi always recommends socket preservation after tooth extraction.
What Happens after Tooth Extraction?
Tooth extraction leaves an empty space (socket) in the jawbone. This socket heals by filling with bone and is covered by gum tissue. During this healing process, the jawbone at the site of extraction decreases in volume and changes in shape. Without socket peservation, the bone shrinks in both width and height. Dr. Elseweifi always recommends placing an immediate implant at the time of extraction. If this is not possible, he recommends a socket preservation procedure.
What is Socket Preservation?
Socket preservation, also called socket grafting or ridge repair, is a bone grafting procedure that is done immediately after tooth extraction. Dr. Elseweifi performs an atraumatic tooth extraction, preserving all bones and gum tissue around the tooth. He then performs the socket preservation procedure by filling the socket with a bone graft or bone graft substitute material and covering the graft with a resorbable plug. He supports the graft and plug material with sutures.
Why is Socket Preservation Important?
Socket preservation prevents bone shrinkage and allows proper healing of the jawbone in preparation for future implant placement or other restorative procedures. In some situation, it recreate the natural contour of the bone.
Is Socket Preservation Covered by My Insurance?
Some insurance plans covers socket preservation – socket grafting. As some plans do not cover such important procedure, patients may question its value. We always advise patients that socket preservation is an important investment that is well worth the additional cost.
Instructions after Socket Preservation:
- Do not touch the wound with your figure or tongue.
- Do not rinse for 24 hours.
- Do not lift your lip to look at the sutures.
- Do not smoke or drink alcohol.