Tooth Socket Graft
Usually, when a tooth is removed, an empty socket is left over. Apart from feeling strange, is there any problem with an empty socket? It depends on where the tooth is located. Dentistry has advanced rapidly in the last two decades.
In the past, people left a single socket (what space, where the tooth stood, is called) open in many cases. However, that isn't always the best decision. Now, research has demonstrated that in many cases, a tooth socket graft is a better idea. What is a tooth socket graft, and how is it performed? Djawdan Center for Implant and Restorative Dentistry has some answers.
Why Does An Empty Space Need Filling?
When you are a child, having spaces in your mouth where teeth used to be is no big deal. It is expected. Children have spaces all over their mouths as baby teeth are replaced by permanent teeth. However, as people grow older, if a tooth gets lost, there is nothing to replace that tooth. When an adult gets a wisdom tooth removed, that socket is left empty. This is because researchers feel that wisdom teeth do not contribute to the jaw as they once did, and they are not missed.
However, when other teeth are lost through accident, injury, or gum disease, they may need to be replaced. That's because researchers have noticed that when a tooth is lost, the body does several things to "fix" the situation. Other teeth may begin to move into the space once occupied by the tooth. Also, the body may begin to reduce the amount of bone around the socket, because it doesn't think the area is necessary. In many cases, a tooth socket graft is necessary to preserve the space and the jawbone for a later dental implant.
What Is A Tooth Socket Graft?
In a tooth socket graft, the patient is prepared for graft as soon as possible after a tooth is extracted or removed. When a tooth socket graft happens quickly, there is very little time for teeth to move and bone to be lost. The usual procedure is to extract the tooth and clean the socket completely to prevent infection. Then a bone graft is placed.
The graft is soft when it is placed into the socket, but it hardens over time. A protective membrane is placed over the bone graft so that the graft doesn't get disturbed, and the area is sutured closed. After three to six months, the graft has healed completely, and a tooth implant can be placed to anchor to the jaw and preserve it.
If you have suffered a tooth loss, and you are worried about your jawbone, or the look of your teeth, we can help. Why don't you give Djawdan Center for Implant and Restorative Dentistry a call at (443) 569-8764? We love to talk to people about saving their teeth every day because when people can smile, they look and feel better. We love to see people with missing teeth reclaim their healthy, bright smiles!