Tooth loss is traumatic in and of itself. Whether you lose a tooth due to injury (from sports or auto accident, for example), illness, or other causes, it will impact your appearance and your confidence.
Tooth loss can compromise oral function, such as your ability to chew and speak as you normally would. What’s worse, tooth loss can lead to bone loss. Without a tooth to support your bite, your jaw bone can begin to recede, causing teeth on either side of the gap to lean into the space previously occupied by your tooth. This causes teeth to shift and upsets the bite pattern, causing further problems.
This is precisely why filling the gap is so important! The dentists and dental implant specialist at Fioritto Family Dental are pleased to offer several options, including bridges, dentures, and dental implants. Regardless of the option you choose, we’ll initially take steps to preserve the socket. What is socket preservation and why is this necessary following tooth loss?
What is Socket Preservation?
Simply put, socket preservation is a means of preventing bone loss following the loss of a tooth. Within months after tooth loss, significant bone loss can occur, compromising the support needed for a dental implant. Some patients may ask, why not place an implant immediately to stabilize the jaw bone and prevent bone loss?
In some cases, this is possible, but ideally, good oral health conditions are necessary before an implant can be placed. This may require some healing time, as well as the use of antibiotics if there is an infection present at the time of tooth loss. It’s possible that it could be several months before the mouth is healthy enough for an implant, and during that time, bone loss can occur.
Additionally, patients who opt for a bridge or denture instead of an implant will continue to suffer bone loss, since bridges and dentures do not replace the roots of a natural tooth. Socket preservation is designed to combat this bone loss, no matter what type of replacement tooth you prefer.
Socket preservation can begin with tooth removal, which is performed with the goal of causing the least amount of harm to the surrounding tissue in the jaw bone. Once this is complete, the open socket that once held the roots of a tooth can be packed with bone grafting materials and covered with a membrane. The membrane helps to contain the graft and stops gum tissue from filling in the socket, preventing bone growth.
Why is Socket Preservation Necessary?
If you’ve decided on a dental implant, you’ll need a strong and stable base that includes enough volume and density of bone to support the implant. Even if you choose a bridge or denture instead, you don’t want the jaw bone beneath to shrink, leaving a gap between the gums and the false tooth. Socket preservation helps to prevent these outcomes, preserving both aesthetics and oral health.
When tooth loss occurs and you need help restoring your smile, contact the experienced dentists at Fioritto Family Dental at 440-951-5511 or reach out to us online to schedule a consultation and learn more.