When dental cavities or decay become so severe that the tooth is damaged beyond repair, surgical dentists such as Dr. James Schwartz at Carolina Dentistry @ The State Line have to extract the tooth. Although, extraction of a tooth may take care of the temporary problem of a decayed tooth, it can create an even bigger problem of bone withering or degeneration.
Degeneration to the bone surrounding the teeth, which is called atrophy of the alveolar or ridge bone, begins to occur as soon as a tooth is extracted. After the bone degenerates, the gum tissue begins to “cave in”. This is evidence of the loss of horizontal width and vertical height on the bone ridge. Thankfully, there are methods of preventing this degeneration from occurring.Process to Preserve a Tooth Extraction Site Bone preservation begins at the time of the tooth extraction when the dentist inserts graft material into the tooth extraction site or socket. The graft material is bone that is either surgical harvested from the patient requiring a second surgical site, cadaver bone that has been treated to render it neutral, so as not to react with the patient, or bovine (cow) bone that has also been treated. The grafted extraction site is then covered with a fibrous collagen membrane to act as a protective covering. Finally, the site is sutured closed using stitches.
Not long after the procedure, depending on how the patient’s own natural jaw bone reforms using the graft material as a matrix, placing a dental implant at the extraction site will ensure long-lasting support thus preserving the bone from resorbing or deteriorating further. Dental implants are titanium hardware that are surgically embedded in the jaw bone. A crown is later placed on the dental implant. The crown is made of synthetic materials resembling the look, feel and function of a real tooth. In many cases, tooth implants are made to look just like the surrounding teeth, so the implants will blend seamlessly into the patient’s mouth.
In some instances, it is possible for dentists to place the implant at the same time as the tooth extraction. However, in most cases, it is best to wait a least a few months for the site to heal. If anyone is wondering how to go about getting a tooth extraction and ensure proper site preservation, they should seek the surgical dentistry services at our Ballantyne dentist office with Dr. Schwartz.