Socket Preservation Charlotte NC
While a dental extraction is a fairly common procedure, and many patients undergo them for a variety of reasons, some patients may find that they may be looking for a dental restoration after they have a tooth extracted. Whether they want to keep their alveolar bones tough enough to hold dental implants, or they may want to keep their gums raised to help make a dental bridge look natural, socket preservation can benefit them. At Greater Charlotte Oral and Facial Surgery, we can help a patient determine if they are an ideal candidate for this procedure.
What is Socket Preservation?
Socket preservation, also termed a tooth socket graft, is a surgical procedure that can maintain your jawbone's integrity following the extraction of teeth; it may also be a necessary process that you will require before the placement of an implant.
Tooth socket grafts are a type of small bone tissues that we carefully place into your jaw. Specifically, we place them over your alveolar bone (a bony, ridge-like structure that supports a larger structure, called the alveolar process). Without this, your teeth would have nowhere to hold on to and can become loose or dislodged. This may occur in advanced cases of periodontitis, for example. To prevent such a loss, Greater Charlotte Oral and Facial Surgery recommends socket preservation.
The alveolar bone changes in density when a tooth has been removed. Over time, the bone will shrink by being reabsorbed into your body. This causes two problems. Without sufficient bone tissue, there would be no site upon which we could place a dental implant, as we place them directly into the bone tissue itself. The other issue concerns bridges. The whole alveolar process also supports the gums, and without the bony layer which gives the alveolar process its shape, it will deflate and sink closer to the base. This causes a noticeable gap to form between the gums and the bridge.
Why Get a Tooth Socket Graft?
One reason you might need a socket graft is to prevent a dry socket following the extraction of teeth; it forms under the condition that the socket, which was previously shielded, gets exposed due to the dislodging of the blood clot, leaving the area unprotected. This can result in your nerve's injury and damage your ridge contour; these changes can later cause inconvenience when you might require an implant. If you are suffering from a dry socket, it is a medical emergency that is easy to treat and should be addressed immediately.
How Is Tooth Socket Graft Performed?
Following a tooth extraction or before getting a dental implant, you will undergo a socket preservation procedure. You will have a large variety of graft material to choose from; each has its benefits and will affect the healing time accordingly. Typically the graft material matches the consistency of wet sand. You may require an autograft depending on the situation, which would require using bone from a donor or bone from another area of your body.
We will first place the graft material into your exposed, empty socket. To prevent infiltration of your soft tissue into the graft site and to ensure the proper setting of the graft, a protective membrane is placed on top. The graft, along with the protective membrane, is then closed and left to heal. The time needed for the site to heal may be anywhere between three to six months. During this time, you can make better-informed decisions regarding your next step.
Are Tooth Socket Grafts Painful?
Similar to regular extractions, we will need to provide you with a local anesthetic before starting the procedure. This will help eliminate any kind of discomfort which may be caused by both removing the tooth and making any incisions before adding in the grafting material. We may also need to extract some bone tissue before the operation, which we will then use as a graft. Both procedures will involve anesthetic, so you have no need to worry about any discomfort during it.
However, you might feel some mild discomfort once the anesthetic subsides. Your gums may also start to feel sore and swell. Generally, we may recommend NSAIDs to take, and we may also suggest the use of an ice pack to help soothe the swelling. Different people may have different needs, and we can discuss various options with you both before and following the grafting procedure.
You will want to be very gentle when brushing your teeth after the procedure. Excessive force may break the skin and open the wound. You may also notice an increase in discomfort and swelling within the first two to three days following a tooth socket graft. This, however, is quite common and you can expect it to subside shortly afterward.
Benefits of Tooth Socket Graft
With a tooth socket graft, you can preserve the health of your jawbone, which can make getting any future implants more comfortable and provide aesthetically pleasing end results. Another benefit of getting the graft done earlier is that you get to keep more of your natural bone and prevent future grafting, which is more invasive. Moreover, a socket graft maintains the natural contours of your jawbone and prevents any unpleasant changes to facial features, as in shrunken or protruding cheeks or sagging skin. Getting a graft is not a permanent solution; it will only slow down the beginning stages of bone loss. To preserve your jawbone indefinitely, you will require a dental implant.
socket preservation charlotte
It is our utmost priority to help guide you through every step. If you are unsure whether you need to get a socket graft or not, we can guide you. As every patient is unique, it is essential to get a personalized treatment plan for this procedure. To learn more about tooth socket grafts, or to set up an appointment with us here at Greater Charlotte Oral and Facial Surgery, please do not hesitate to give us a call at (980) 332-7990 today. We look forward to speaking with you and answering any questions you may have about this procedure.