Once you have a tooth removed, there is a hole that is left where the tooth used to be. This socket tends to be quite sensitive initially. This is the reason why the dentist will often recommend that you undergo socket preservation as well when undergoing extraction. It is important to protect the socket.
Once the tooth has been extracted, a blood clot tends to form, which then protects the area as it heals. If it is loosened somehow, the nerve underneath becomes exposed, leading to dry socket pain. If the socket is protected, the alveolar ridge will also be preserved. This is the bone which usually surrounds your tooth’s root. If it is deformed, then in the future, dental implants will be complicated to put in.
How Do You Carry Out Socket Preservation?
This is actually a very common procedure that is usually done as soon as a tooth has been extracted. Usually when a tooth is removed, the alveolar ridge or jaw tends to heal on its own and the hole left will simply fill up with tissue and bone. In some cases, the socket can actually not heal properly and will continue to become worse instead, leading to bone deterioration. In order to avoid this, a ridge repair is considered. By repairing the ridge, the socket is also preserved. This can later be used as a support for dental implants. Should you choose not to undergo this procedure, you may find yourself having to do a more costly dental surgery down the road due to bone deterioration.
What Is the Value of Socket Preservation?
Tooth extraction healing tends to be a natural process. However, once a tooth has been removed, the bone supporting it can begin to disintegrate. This can lead to your other teeth becoming misaligned or gaps forming in between your remaining teeth. This is the reason why it is important to carry out socket preservation.
The procedure for socket preservation will generally involve bone grafting where a bone is put inside the socket in place of the extracted tooth. The bone can be from an animal, a human bone or made from synthetic material. Once it has been placed inside the socket, it is then covered using a collagen membrane and the opening sutured closed.
Is Socket Preservation Necessary?
Bone graft dental work is not done just for fun, not at all. By having your socket preserved, you improve your appearance and that of the teeth that remain because they will not become misaligned and gaps will not form in between. Additionally, you protect your gums and make it easier to get dental implants in the future should you need them. Your jaw bone is also protected because both vertical and horizontal alterations are reduced. It is important to note that your doctor may not necessarily offer the procedure, but you can ask for it if you want it.
Taking Care of Your Socket after Extraction
You will need to take care of your socket and the area that surrounds it once you have had a tooth removed. This is important for the protection of your gum line and also to keep you comfortable as you are healing. Some of the instructions you will get may include:
Do not brush your teeth for 24 hours following the extraction, not even with a toothbrush that has extra-soft bristles.
Avoid using straws and smoking for a while since both of these create more pressure inside your mouth.
Avoid eating hard foods since they can knock out your blood clot and leave you with a dry socket.
In the event that you have questions or concerns, it is recommended that you speak to your dentist to clear any of your doubts. If you are in a lot of pain or the bleeding is excessive, your dentist should be able to tell you how to deal with that. This procedure is not complicated at all and in most cases, people recover without any complications at all.