When a tooth is extracted the bone socket will immediately start shrinking. Tooth loss equals bone loss. The site will lose 25% of its dimension in the first year and 5% every year after that. Dr. Cullen will carefully remove the tooth. Every effort will be made not to cause damage to the remaining bone. He will usually graft the socket right at the time of the extraction. This is called site regeneration. Bone can be recaptured with regeneration. There is extreme value in site regeneration.
Re-Growing Your Bone at the Time of Tooth Removal
When a tooth is extracted and the area is allowed to heal without rebuilding the bone, the bone in the extraction socket area will shrink, often resulting in one of three compromises:
- The bone shrinkage may limit the ability to place an implant to replace the tooth, resulting in the need for a
bone grafting procedure after the area has healed.
- The bone shrinkage can cause loss of bone on adjacent teeth.
- The bone shrinkage often leads to a defect which is unaesthetic following tooth replacement.
When a tooth is extracted, healing occurs by a combination of “shrinkage” of the remaining extraction socket bone, and some bone growth from the base of the extraction site. The result is often loss of bone where the tooth used to be, and a depression in the remaining ridge of bone. This problem can now be avoided. At the time the tooth is extracted, the area is filled with new bone, and the area is covered with a membrane barrier. The barrier prevents the gum tissue from growing into the extraction area, and protects the underlying forming bone.
The graft encourages your own bone to grow in the area.
This treatment will often result in the complete regeneration of the lost bone in the area of the tooth extraction.
Regenerating damaged and lost bone at the time of extraction of the tooth provides the following advantages:
- The bone between the extracted tooth and the adjacent tooth is preserved or regenerated.
The health of the adjacent tooth is thus improved.
- A ridge deformity does not develop, and the appearance of the ridge is more natural. The esthetics and function
of the area is preserved or improved.
- The regenerated bone allows placement of an implant to replace the missing tooth.