Stop Bone Loss in it's Tracts

Just the thought of having to see a dentist for a tooth extraction usually sends chills down ones' spine.  Traditionally, the dentist would numb the area, remove the tooth, and send you home biting on gauze, with a tap on the back.  History has shown us that this treatment has not been the best treatment that could be offered.  Research studies have concluded that 40-60% of the surrounding bone is also lost within the first 2 years following the tooth extraction.   Fortunately today, the dental patient has options available to them which can prevent, or significantly reduce the loss of bone following an extraction.

The procedure to prevent bone loss is called "Socket Preservation," which is a fancy term for bone grafting.  Immediately following the extraction of the tooth, bone grafting material is gently placed in the resulting tooth socket, and filled to the top.  In many cases, a resorbable collagen membrane is placed over the site to prevent the bone material from trickling out prematurely.  By placing the bone graft in the socket, it acts as a scaffold for the bone growing cells, and growth factors to adhere.  Over an 8-12 week period, most of the bone graft would have been replaced by the bodies own new bone.  This results in a solid block of bone which can now be utilized for a dental implant, or to support a porcelain bridge or denture.

When dental implants are desired, it is necessary not only to have sufficient height and width of bone, but also, the bone density is important.  By grafting an extraction site, the bone density of the grafted site usually exceeds the original bone.  This enhances the implants predictability, lifespan, and overall success rates.

Many patients choose to replace teeth with a porcelain bridge.  Bone grafting becomes important because the grafted bone helps to support the teeth anchoring the bridge.  This improved support extends the longevity of the bridge, and the graft enhances the overall esthetics of the bridge by making the false tooth look more realistic.

When dentures are the option of choice, it is imperative to preserve the jaw bone.  Without proper bony support, denture wearers can expect to have problems with loose fitting, floating teeth.  The application of messy over the counter adhesives becomes mandatory.  Loose dentures negatively effect speech patterns, and make chewing a virtual nightmare.  By preserving the bone, and not loosing it, it improves the dentures support, and keeps the option open to placing dental implants. This will help secure the denture more solidly in the future.

I practice dentistry in Naples, Florida.  I treat quite an array of different folk.  When any patient faces a lost tooth, we instruct them to the benefits of Socket Preservation, and ultimately, patients 9 out of 10 times choose to save their bone, and not loose it.

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