Socket preservation (otherwise known as alveolar ridge preservation) is a procedure that goes hand in hand with tooth extraction, and is designed to reduce any bone loss that would eventually occur without the procedure.
After a tooth is extracted, the jawbone has to be preserved in order to keep the socket in its original shape. Otherwise, the bone reabsorbs at 30 – 60% after tooth extraction. If the bone is lost due to this reabsorption, the jawbone will not revert to its original shape. Today, thanks to bioengineering and advances in dental surgical procedures, the loss of bone and gum tissue following tooth removal can be either mostly reduced or completely eliminated through expertly done socket preservation.
Following removal of the tooth a graft material, specially engineered to help support bone formation is placed within the open extraction socket. This added material not only supports the growth of new bone, but has also been shown to preserve the overlying soft tissue following tooth removal.
It is crucial to have socket preservation done following a relevant extraction for the long-term health and appearance of not only your teeth, but your gums and jaw as well.