Tooth Socket Graft
When your teeth are damaged or decayed, they need to be treated. Ideally, damaged teeth are restored using fillings or crowns. However, if the damage is too severe, the affected teeth may need to be extracted. After teeth are extracted, empty sockets are left behind, which can lead to serious issues. At Pacific Modern Dentistry, we can preserve the sockets, preserving the health of your jawbone and making dental implants possible, with a tooth socket graft.
How Do I Know if I Need an Extraction?
Your teeth have numerous responsibilities. In addition to biting and chewing, the teeth also aid in proper speech, provide you with a beautiful smile, and even work to maintain the health of your jawbone. So, when the teeth are damaged, the preferred solution is to save them. However, when the damage is too severe, trying to save the affected teeth can increase your risk for developing serious complications. In the event of severe damage, the best solution is often an extraction, followed by replacement. Reasons you may need a tooth extraction include:
Why is Preserving Sockets So Important?
Included in the jobs of your teeth is maintaining the strength and shape of your jawbone. Every time you chew, the teeth provide stimulation for the bone, which triggers the body to send the nutrients your jaw and surrounding areas. When a tooth is extracted, your jaw loses the stimulation from that tooth. As a result, fewer nutrients are sent, which causes that area of the jaw to begin to weaken. Over time, the bone starts to change shape.
As the bone changes, several issues arise. First, the adjacent teeth begin to shift out of alignment. When this happens, your bite is altered. This increases your risk for issues such as bruxism and temporomandibular joint disorder. Your risk for tooth decay and gum disease increases. The distribution of bite pressure is also thrown off, which increases the risk for tooth damage.
What is a Tooth Socket Graft?
A tooth socket graft is a surgical procedure that involves the use of a bone graft to fill in the empty socket left behind by an extracted tooth. This helps to preserve the empty socket and prevent the surrounding bone from collapsing in on it, which also helps to prevent tooth shifting. Depending upon your needs and situation, we may perform an autograft, taking bone from another area of your body, or an allograft, which uses bone mass from a compatible donor.
The tooth socket graft is performed immediately following tooth extraction. If a simple tooth extraction has been performed, we make small incisions in your gums to expose the now empty socket. The chosen grafting material is placed inside the socket, and your gums are sutured closed. As you heal, your existing bone mass fuses with or around the graft. Once you have fully healed, we can then replace the missing tooth.
The Benefits of a Tooth Socket Graft
A tooth socket graft provides several benefits, including:
With a tooth socket graft, we can preserve the health of your jawbone and make it easier to place dental implants after extractions. For more information, and to schedule your consultation, call Pacific Modern Dentistry today at (206) 607-9822.