There is a special type of bone surrounding your teeth, called alveolar bone, and exists solely to support your teeth. Immediately following tooth extraction, this bone begins to shrink.
Loss of bone occurs in two dimensions:
There are two important phases in retaining your alveolar ridge during and after the tooth extraction:
These are root-shaped supports that hold your replacement teeth. The more bone support you have, the stronger the implant replacements will be. In some cases, your bone can degenerate to a point where implants can no longer be placed without having more complex bone grafting procedures to rebuild the necessary support. Obviously, preventing bone loss is much easier than rebuilding lost bone later.
This is a restoration that is supported by the teeth adjacent to the missing tooth space. The replacement tooth (called a pontic) fills the space. If the bone is deficient, there will be an unsightly gap under the pontic that will trap food and affect your speech. Sometimes we recommend adding a bone graft of soft tissue graft to these areas to improve not only looks, but also the cleansibility of these areas.
Oftentimes dentures perform better and are more stable with more supporting bone. If you must loose a tooth, we will review with you several options for replacement. All of the options rely on bone support and bone contour for the best function and esthetics.
Immediately after your tooth is extracted, the socket will be packed with a bone-like material and covered with a small absorbable plug or membrane.
A socket graft is a bone grafting procedure where the socket, or “hole” present in your jawbone when your tooth is extracted, is filled with bone either immediately following extraction in preparation for a future dental implant or in conjunction with an immediate implant placement that same day. With immediate implants, this may be necessary to fill a small gap in the bone surrounding the implant site. Early on, the grafting material will support the tissue surrounding the socket, and in time will be replaced by your own new, healthy, natural bone. This bone will be an excellent support should you choose later to have dental implant-supported replacement teeth. Although the bone created by socket grafting supports and preserves the socket, it will not do so forever. Placing dental implants 4-6 months after the extraction and socket grafting will provide the best long-lasting support for preserving your jawbone and allow you to function as before. Otherwise, the graft may shrink away or resorb over time.
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21055 12 Mile Road, Roseville MI 48066