One of the most common dental procedures in the US is tooth extraction, and it’s for a variety of reasons. At Vestal Dental Associates, we often remove teeth for issues such as decay, gum disease and/or injury. However, each time a tooth is removed the underlying jawbone begins to breakdown through the process of degeneration to the bone. Preventing this becomes a priority as your oral health relies on the health and safety of these bones. Our concept is preventative measure.
At Vestal Dental Associates, we like to ensure that your bones are considered before an extraction is performed. When it comes to removing teeth, immediately preservation of the bone in the jaw is required. This bone is called the alveolar ridge bone; it’s job is simply to support the teeth in your mouth.
The first thing that happens during the removal of a tooth is the breakdown and degeneration of the bone that holds it up. It begins to simply melt away through the process of two different dimensions. Horizontal width loss occurs when the tooth is removed and the bone around the tooth socket collapses without the tooth there to offer it the support it needs. Vertical height loss occurs next, and it’s even faster and more prominent when a patient wears dentures (complete or partial).
Saving this bone is important even when you no longer have a tooth in that area. Why? Because you will have to replace your missing teeth. When this occurs, you have to preserve the bone to help keep the teeth you choose in place as well as to promote good oral health. Bone support is required so that your new teeth are properly held up into their spaces and supported the way in which it is required for good bone and tooth health.
The good news is that there are several different types of bone grafting techniques available. The one that works best for you is determined based on your personal need and oral health. Our dental professionals are well-versed in this area and are sure to discuss every aspect of the procedure with you, including how it is done and which technique is best for your personal case.
Essentially, though, the socket of your missing tooth is packed with a very bone-like material. It’s then covered with a suture or plug that is absorbable. Whatever grafting material that is used in your bone grafting treatment is then used to support the tissue that surrounds the socket of your tooth. As new alveolar bone grows in, it begins to replace the bone graft in an effort to fully support your new teeth in the most plausible manner.
Following this is a secondary treatment our dental professionals recommend occurs anywhere from four months to a year following your bone grafting procedure. At this point, we like to implement proper and effective bone growth with the addition of dental implants. This helps to keep the bone strong for the long-term preservation of the jaw bone. Without dental implants in this situation, bone grafts are known to degenerate as time goes on.
The many different options that are available to you are discussed during your appointment when we decide to extract the tooth. We’ll discuss with you everything from the extraction to the bone grafting and socket preservation to your new replacement teeth, whether you choose to go with full dental replacement or just a few partial dentures to help keep your smile healthy and looking good. All the options are presented to you when you come in for your appointment so that you can make the best decision for your own personal finances, your own health and your preference.
A full and comprehensive plan is always important in regards to tooth extraction given the short amount of time in which the bones and sockets surrounding your newly extracted teeth begin to break down. Your oral health is our priority, and our dental professionals at Vestal Dental Associates want to make sure we are doing everything we can to protect the ones that support your teeth before the breakdown of the bone and socket begins. Call our professionals today at (607) 785-3339 to schedule a consultation to discuss tooth extraction and bone grafting and socket preservation. The faster we are able to make a decision, the better the overall health of your bones will be.