Ridge preservation is a type of wound care procedure performed with the goal of preserving the volume of the alveolar ridge. The alveolar ridge is the bone that supports your teeth and roots, keeping them in place and providing stability for everyday actions such as chewing.
When a tooth is extracted, it leaves behind an indentation, or bone wound. Ridge preservation performs two important functions:
- Covering and protecting the wound so that it heals properly
- Preventing the loss of bone tissue following your extraction
When you receive a ridge preservation treatment, Dr. Smith will place a bone graft in the resultant socket at the time your tooth is removed. This graft produces little or no discomfort, and often prevents the need for more extensive bone grafting in the future. By immediately placing a bone graft after extraction, bone tissue shrinkage is minimized, and it is much more likely that you will be able to receive a dental implant or other restoration in the future without another procedure.
Ridge preservation also encourages a quicker healing process. Normally, the socket will close about 4 weeks after a routine tooth extraction, and may take up to a full year to mature and heal. There is also a risk of ridge shrinkage or atrophy without preservation. If a bone graft was placed, the socket will close more quickly and the healing process will be accelerated. This procedure will then allow for a more successful placement of a dental implant.
For more information about ridge preservation and to schedule your appointment with Dr. Smith, please call our office today.