Most of us know about "tooth loss".
And you might also know about dental implants, artificial replacements for your natural teeth. But what if for some reason, you just can't invest in a dental implant at this time?
This blog post is about a relatively minimal dental procedure that could change what you do when you have a tooth extracted. If you think you will ever want a dental implant where your soon-to-be-gone tooth is, read on...
Problem: What Really Happens When You Lose a Tooth?
Nobody likes to lose a tooth. And it's pretty obvious that you'll have a gape or hole in your smile. We all know that part.
But did you also know that when you lose a tooth, almost immediately, a natural biological process starts where the bone around the former tooth starts melting away. That's right. The bone detects that there is no tooth there anymore, so the volume of bone in that immediate area of your mouth decreases. You can lose as much as 60% of the bone volume around an extracted tooth ultimately.
So what you may say? Who is going to see that?
Truthfully, if the tooth is way back inside your mouth, outside "the smile zone", not many are going to see that. (However, you should know that losing a tooth and leaving an empty spot may affect the positioning of your surrounding teeth. Maybe you've heard the old adage, "Nature abhors a vacuum." )
But what if the tooth in is your smile zone? And what if you can't decide or maybe afford a dental implant to replace the tooth but may want one later? How do you preserve your options?
Solution: Ridge Preservation Preserves Your Dental Options
In my dental practice, when someone has a tooth extracted, I always offer them the option to have a ridge preservation procedure or socket graft done at the time of extraction. This is a relatively small procedure adding only minutes to the entire treatment.
If you believe there is any chance you may want to replace a tooth with a dental implant later, ridge preservation done at the time of tooth extraction is highly recommended. It not only better guarantees the stability of your dental implant installed later, it increases the chances of a better cosmetic result, allowing the dental implant and crown to look more like your natural tooth.
Because ridge preservation is so little known to most patients, I've written up a new section on my website.
Check it out: Preserve your options with five minutes of reading!
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