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What is Socket Preservation Bone Graft

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    When planning for tooth extraction, one of the most important things you have to consider is how to replace the missing tooth. There are various restorative options available but dental implants are usually the most commonly chosen one. This is not surprising given the numerous advantages they provide, such as improved aesthetics, durability, functionality, comfort, and so on.

    However, in case you are thinking about replacing the extracted tooth with an implant then you really need to plan it in advance. This is essential because sometimes a socket preservation bone graft may need to be done to prevent the loss of bone after the removal of the tooth.

    What is a socket preservation bone graft and when you may need to have such a procedure? Keep reading to learn more. 

    What is tooth socket preservation?

    Tooth socket preservation, also known as socket grafting or alveolar ridge preservation, is an oral surgery that includes filling the empty socket left behind after wisdom tooth extraction. In order to perform it, the dentist may use a bone graft material from your own body or bone substitute material. The filling of the socket is usually done during your extraction appointment.

    As its name implies, the socket preservation bone graft is intended to preserve the natural shape of the jawbone and prevent bone loss. This will help create a stable foundation so that a dental implant or other restoration can be placed successfully in the future. Socket or ridge preservation after tooth extraction will also help maintain the facial structures and contours.

    When is socket preservation necessary?

    Your dentist may recommend a socket preservation graft in case you are planning to replace the extracted tooth with a dental implant. The procedure will help to preserve the volume and density of the jawbone, making the placement of the artificial tooth easier. In addition, you may need socket preservation if the extracted tooth is in a visible area and you want to maintain the structure and contours of your face. 

    Socket preservation graft can be beneficial in certain situations, however, it is not always necessary. The decision to perform this procedure depends on several factors, including the location and size of the extracted tooth, your oral health, and your future treatment plans.

    Socket preservation bone graft may not be necessary if you do not have any future plans for dental implant surgery or if the extracted tooth is in a less visible area. Your dentist will assess your individual situation and make a recommendation based on your needs and goals.

    What are the advantages of socket preservation?

    Socket preservation procedure offers several benefits, including:

    • Preventing a dry socket. A dry socket is a complication that can occur following tooth extraction. It happens when the blood clot that forms in the socket after the tooth removal becomes dislodged or dissolves, exposing the underlying bone and nerves. The condition usually causes severe pain and can delay the healing process. A socket preservation graft can prevent the development of a dry socket. The bone graft material used in this procedure helps to fill and maintain the shape of the socket, which can promote proper healing and reduce the risk of the blood clot becoming dislodged or dissolved.
    • Preserving the natural bone height and width. In this procedure, the dentist fills the empty socket left behind the removed tooth with bone graft material. This helps preserve the natural shape and structure of the jaw bone, preventing further bone loss. It also minimizes the need for more extensive bone grafting procedures in the future.
    • Improving tooth replacement options. The socket preservation procedure will help create a stable foundation for a future dental implant. When the empty socket is filled with bone graft material, it will keep your bone dense and strong. This will make the implant placement process easier and increase the chances of successful outcomes. The procedure may also be beneficial for patients who are considering denture restoration.
    • Promoting new bone formation. Filling the empty socket immediately after the removal of the tooth will stimulate the growth of a new bone and aid in its integration with the surrounding tissue.

    Overall, socket preservation can help you improve the long-term health and stability of your jawbone and prepare it for a feature implant placement.

    How is socket preservation done?

    Socket preservation bone grafting is typically done immediately after tooth extraction. The procedure is relatively simple and involves the following steps:

    • Extraction of the tooth. The first thing that the doctor will do is to remove the damaged or infected tooth. This can be performed under local or general anaesthesia depending on the complexity of the extraction.
    • Cleaning and shaping of the empty socket. Once the tooth is removed, the provider will carefully clean and disinfect the extraction site in order to remove any debris or tissue. The socket is then shaped to ensure that it is ready to receive the bone graft.
    • Filling of the socket with a bone graft material. After that, the dentist will place a bone graft material into the empty socket. This material will promote socket healing and help to maintain its shape.
    • Placement of a barrier membrane. The dentist may also place a barrier over the bone graft, such as a collagen or resorbable membrane, in order to protect it. This technique is known as guided bone regeneration. In some cases, guided tissue regeneration can also be done if there has been a significant loss of soft tissues such as the gums and connective tissues due to periodontal disease or other factors.
    • Suture closure. The socket may be closed with sutures to help protect the graft material and promote proper healing.
    • Follow-up visits. The dentist will schedule follow-up appointments to monitor the recovery process and ensure that the socket is healing properly.

    It's important to note that the specific socket preservation technique used may differ depending on the patient's unique case, the type of bone graft material used, and the surgeon's preferences. The bone graft procedure usually takes 30 minutes to an hour to complete and requires a few days of recovery time.

    What material is used for socket preservation?

    There are several techniques and types of graft materials that the dentist may use to preserve the bone after extraction. These include: 

    • Autogenous (autografts) bone. This is bone which is taken from the patient's own body, usually from the chin or hip. Autografts have a low risk of rejection or disease transmission which is why they are widely used in implant dentistry.
    • Allograft bone. These are also human bone grafts but they come from a donor source instead of the patient's body. They have been processed and sterilized to avoid any risks of disease transmission.
    • Xenograft bone. These are animal tissue blank that has been processed and sterilized.
    • Synthetic (alloplast) bone. These are artificially created materials which imitate the properties of natural bone.

    The type of material used is usually determined by several factors, including the size and location of the extraction, the individual's needs, goals, and preferences, as well as the surgeon's preferences and experience.

    How long does socket preservation take to heal?

    On average, it can take about 3 to 6 months for the grafted bone to fully integrate with the surrounding tissue and for the socket to heal. However, this time can vary depending on factors such as the patient's overall health, the complexity of the surgery and the technique and material used.

    In order to have a smoother and quicker recovery, it is important that you follow the surgeon's postoperative instructions carefully, including avoiding any activities that might put stress on the grafted area, such as heavy lifting or chewing on that side of the mouth. In addition, you may be prescribed antibiotics and pain medication to help manage any discomfort and reduce the risk of infection.

    Your dentist or oral surgeon will also schedule regular follow-up appointments to monitor your recovery and ensure that the socket is healing properly.

    How much does socket preservation cost in Singapore?

    The cost of a socket preservation bone graft procedure in Singapore can range from several hundred to several thousand Singapore dollars, with the exact cost depending on the specific circumstances of the case. Some factors that may influence the price of the dental procedure include the type of bone graft material used, the complexity of the procedure, and the experience and reputation of the dentist or oral surgeon performing the procedure.

    If you're thinking about getting a socket preservation bone graft in Singapore, it's best to consult with a qualified dentist or oral surgeon to discuss your specific needs and get a more accurate cost estimate.

    The importance of socket preservation after tooth extraction

    dentist holding tooth extraction tools

    Socket or ridge preservation can be very beneficial for you if you plan on replacing missing teeth in the future. The procedure will help minimize bone loss which can occur as a result of tooth loss.

    Bone resorption can happen quite quickly after you have your tooth removed. The jawbone around the extracted tooth can start to shrink or break down, without the stimulation from the tooth root. This is because the bone no longer receives the forces from biting and chewing that it used to. The amount of bone loss can vary, depending on factors such as the size and location of the extracted tooth and the patient's age. 

    One of the most effective ways to avoid such a problem and preserve the natural bone width and height is to have a bone graft right after the extraction of your tooth. This procedure will help ensure that you have a sufficient amount of healthy bone which can sustain dental implant placement. As a result, the artificial tooth will be adequately supported, thereby increasing its success rate. 

    Frequently asked questions

    What is the best bone graft material for socket preservation?

    The best bone graft material for socket preservation will depend on your particular case and medical history as well as the surgeon's experience and preferences. In general, autogenous bone (that is taken from your own body) is considered the gold standard in bone grafting procedures. However, the availability and quality of autografts can vary from patient to patient. Your oral surgeon or dentist will discuss the best options for your specific needs and help you make an informed decision.

    What is the success rate of socket preservation?

    Socket or alveolar ridge preservation procedures have a success rate greater than 90% whereas the overall success rate for ungrafted implants is around 50-60%. Some factors that influence the outcomes include your age, overall health, type of extraction, type of bone graft material and surgical technique used. It is also important to find a dental professional who has the necessary training and experience in oral and maxillofacial surgery or periodontal treatments.

    Can you have socket preservation with osteoporosis?

    Yes, it is possible to have this procedure if you have osteoporosis. Nonetheless, in some cases, osteoporosis may lower the success rate of bone grafting, since this disease affects the quality and quantity of the jawbone remaining. Before undergoing a socket preservation procedure, you should discuss your medical history with your oral and maxillofacial surgeon, including any conditions such as osteoporosis. The doctor can assess your specific situation and determine whether this dental procedure is a viable option for you. Alternative options or additional steps, such as the use of special bone graft materials or techniques, may be required in some cases to improve the outcomes of the procedure.

    Do all dentists do socket preservation?

    Not all dentists perform socket preservation and ridge augmentation procedures. These types of treatments are typically done by an oral and maxillofacial surgeon or a periodontist, who are specialists in treating conditions affecting the gums and jawbone.

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