Tooth extraction is the initial phase of the socket preservation procedure, and it plays a critical role in ensuring the success of the subsequent steps. Dr Javier approaches tooth extraction with precision and care, prioritizing your comfort throughout the process.
With the area is sufficiently numb, we carefully extract the tooth using specialized instruments. The extraction process varies depending on the tooth’s condition and location. For instance, extracting a front tooth may involve a different technique than removing a molar.
During the extraction, we are cautious to preserve the surrounding bone and soft tissues. This careful approach is vital as it sets the stage for the subsequent socket preservation steps.
Following tooth extraction, the socket preservation phase begins. This step is crucial for maintaining the bone structure and preventing resorption, which can occur when a socket is left empty after tooth removal.
The empty socket is meticulously cleaned to remove any residual tissue, debris, or infection. Cleaning the socket ensures a clean slate for the socket preservation procedure.
Graft Material Placement
Once the socket is clean, our surgeons select an appropriate graft material based on your specific needs and the treatment plan established during your initial consultation. The graft material serves as a scaffold to promote the growth of new bone.
There are various graft material options:
- Autograft: This involves using a small amount of bone harvested from another area of your body, typically the jawbone or hip. Autografts are considered the gold standard as they are biocompatible and offer excellent integration potential.
- Allograft: Allograft material is sourced from a donor, processed to eliminate any risk of disease transmission, and sterilized for safety. Allografts are a suitable alternative when using your bone is not feasible.
- Xenograft or Synthetic Graft: Xenografts are derived from animal sources (e.g., bovine or porcine bone) and processed to be biocompatible. Synthetic graft materials consist of biocompatible substances designed to encourage new bone growth.
Membrane Placement (if necessary)
In some cases, a barrier membrane may be placed over the graft material to protect it and enhance bone regeneration. The membrane acts as a shield, preventing soft tissue from invading the healing area and promoting optimal bone growth.
After graft material placement (and membrane placement if necessary), our surgeons meticulously suture the surgical site closed. The sutures used are typically absorbable, which means they will dissolve naturally over time, eliminating the need for suture removal.
Suturing serves multiple purposes:
- It helps ensure that the graft material remains in place, providing stability for bone regeneration.
- It seals the surgical site, reducing the risk of infection.
- It promotes proper healing and minimizes the potential for complications.
The careful and precise suturing technique is a critical aspect of socket preservation, as it sets the stage for successful healing and bone regeneration.