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Tooth Socket Preservation

Tooth socket preservation is of paramount concern during a tooth extraction. Many people think that going to Dr. De Andrade and getting a tooth pulled is the end of the problem. This is simply not the case for a number of reasons. First, if the tooth is not extracted as carefully as possible, it can damage the gum, tooth socket, and neighboring teeth. Second, if the tooth socket is not preserved, the neighboring teeth may sag inward to fill the gap left by the extracted tooth. This can not only lead to aesthetic issues, but may also cause problems such as bone resorption (“melting”).

In order to preserve the tooth socket with maximum efficacy, a bone graft may be performed as part of the extraction process. In this procedure, a small bit of bone is implanted into the tooth socket and the supporting bone. The idea behind this is to help the socket retain shape and structure so that the support structures and soft tissue are compromised as little as possible. In addition, the bone graft creates a stable base for a dental implant, an artificial tooth that looks and functions just like your own natural teeth.

Cosmetic Implications

Because of the cosmetic and functional implications, a tooth extraction and the socket preservation afterward is treated as a surgical procedure. Although it is a very common and safe procedure, as well as one of the oldest known forms of surgery on the planet, like all surgeries, tooth extraction carries its own set of risks. During your consultation, you’ll be given preoperative and postoperative care instructions to help minimize postsurgical discomfort, sensitivity, and other problems. These instructions are for your benefit and safety and need to be followed diligently, including any oral aftercare hygiene regimen that Dr. De Andrade deems to be appropriate.

Tooth socket preservation is designed to ensure minimal problems in the stages between the extraction of the old tooth and the placement of the dental implant. A tooth extraction is not the end of the cure, but rather the beginning. While this may seem to some like an unnecessary waste of time, allowing the mouth to heal from the trauma of surgery even on a very local scale before placing the implant will help reduce the likelihood of complications at each stage of the implant procedure. During your consultation, Dr. De Andrade will discuss the risks, benefits, and available options for your unique case.