Careful management of extraction sockets after tooth extraction prevents unsightly bone loss and provides a better cosmetic outcome for tooth replacement.
After a tooth was extracted, the bone and the dome on top of the bone will normally shrink 30-50% during the first 6 months. When this occurs, it becomes difficult to place a dental implant without complex bone grafting procedures. It also makes adapting a tooth supported bridge more difficult. Therefore, careful management of extraction sockets after tooth extraction is necessary in order to prevent this shrinkage. Ridge or socket preservation involves a surgical procedure that is done at the same time as the extraction. It minimizes bone shrinkage and allows a better outcome for tooth replacement with an implant or a tooth supported bridge. The hole left by the removal of the tooth is covered by a protective membrane. A bone replacement graft may also be used to help prevent bone shrinkage.