One of the most common bone replacement needs that many patients may have from time to time is due to a tooth extraction.
Socket Graft Uses
Many patients who eventually lose their wisdom teeth and adjacent molars often have the extraction sites either sutured or left open to heal on their own, without subsequent events.
Many other patients, however, have experienced lingering pain and discomfort symptoms when the “hole” created by a routine extraction slowly heals.
More and more dentists are promoting the use of a special graft product to perform a Socket Graft, that fills the extraction hole with bone material that will regrow new bone. Healing complications that include pain, discomfort and excess bleeding are virtually non-existent.
Implant Site Preparation This type of graft procedure all but eliminates a common problem some patients may have with an extraction site that causes loss of bone for the neighboring teeth. Reports of posterior or other molar tooth structures shifting or tilting can be common for some patients.
Many general dentists, however, do not provide socket grafts for common extractions.
Socket grafts are more routinely used for preparing an extraction site for a dental implant that has a minor or major need of additional quantity of bone. In situations where a complicated extraction caused additional bone loss, a socket graft enables us to recreate the healthy bone conditions necessary for a successful implant treatment.
Supplemental Implant Grafting
Depending upon treatment need, graft material may or may not be incorporated at the time of implant placement. Typically, when the need for additional bone is significant, the graft procedure will be allowed to heal and regenerate first, with implant placement occurring 3-4 months later.
Lower Jaw (Mandible) Many dental implants that are placed immediately after extraction are commonly packed with a small amount of graft material to create a firm foundation for new bone.
The surrounding gum tissues, as well, are treated to produce healthy plump tissue that further enhances healing of the entire implant site. Guided Tissue Regeneration membranes are used by Dr. Rick to control the amount of hard and soft tissue regeneration.
Patients who have progressed through advanced degrees of gum disease or having a long history of either too many untreated extractions or poor overall quality of dentition often have a “bony ridge” (ridge of bone that natural teeth are rooted to) that can be insufficient in height or width.
Patients who underwent bone graft procedures to develop a healthy ridge of bone typically elect to have implant supported or retained dentures or fixed bridgework.
Dr. Rick assures that each and every implant site along the ridge of bone satisfies a specific relationship exists between the width of bone and size of implant. (implant device sizes can be different for different locations along the jaw).
Bone Leveling for Denture Teeth
Patients who are preparing to use denture prosthetics that are developed within prosthodontist guidelines are routinely assessed for having level bone on either jaw structure. Uneven or bumpy bone is the usual cause of patients reporting loose, rocking and painful dentures that can lead to further breakdown of soft and hard tissue.
In our practice, as with others that make premium denture prosthetics, careful attention is paid to how level the bony ridge is, after extractions have been completed.
High spots (see photo at right) are removed and unusual low spots are filled in with special grafting products that create the even level of bone and gum tissue that the denture will become seated on.
Unfortunately, many denture clinics eliminate the entire process of leveling, filling in and suturing of the jawbones, to minimize costs.
Thorough preparation that includes ALL needed treatments enables most of our denture patients to have a great fitting denture without the feared symptoms of bleeding, difficult tissue healing, loose fit, clicking or rocking teeth.
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