All Extraction Techniques are Not Created Equal
What Happens When a Tooth is Lost?
The loss of a tooth is an eventuality that many of us may have to face in our lifetime. However, removing the tooth is not the end of the end of your problem, but the beginning of many more.
Traditional techniques for removing a tooth frequently involve destroying anywhere from 20% to 30% of the bone that holds it in place. Additionally, once the tooth is lost the remaining bone will naturally atrophy or shrink if it isn’t being used. Up to 50% of the surrounding bone will be lost during the initial healing period and even more over time. If the lost tooth is in the front then the loss of bone will leave a defect which will be noticeable.
In addition to the loss of bone, the surrounding teeth will begin to shift, opening up spaces eventually causing the loss of more teeth.
How Can This be Prevented?
Dr. Arvanitis uses new techniques for tooth removal that have been designed to preserve the bone by not removing it during the surgery. The best techniques available today also involve placing the implant right into the socket of the extracted tooth at the time of extraction. Additionally a grafting material is then placed into the socket around the implant which will support and feed the surrounding bone during the healing period preventing the initial atrophy. If the patient is not ready to proceed with the implant then a bone graft alone will be used to preserve the bone. Over time however, the natural atrophy will still occur if the implant is not placed. Thus it is imperative that the critical areas of the jawbone needed to support implants are preserved. If you have lost one or two teeth, then the area should have dental implants placed within the first year to prevent the long term bone loss. If you already have dentures then implants can be used to hold them in place and the areas where these implants would be placed need to be protected. Only by placing dental implants can the bone be preserved.
If you are about to lose a tooth please ask your dentist about your options or call us to schedule an appointment.