The most common cause of tooth extractions is severe tooth decay and cavities. However, many patients also undergo extractions for impacted teeth – particularly wisdom teeth. Other causes for extraction include advanced periodontal disease, cracked teeth, and teeth that are severely malformed. When teeth are loose or are fractured or decayed beyond repair the tooth is extracted. As a result, when the tooth is lost the body quickly begins to resorb the bone, unless it is immediately replaced with either another tooth, implant or in this case a “ridge preservation graft”.
Occasionally, it is possible to place an implant at the time of a tooth extraction but in most cases the extraction site must be prepared and bone must be preserved by placing bone graft in preparation for placement of implant in the future. When tooth is extracted there will be a break in the bone that will allow the soft tissue to grow in. Bone graft material is placed at the extraction site and a collagen membrane is placed to protect the bone graft material from your tongue and saliva. Sutures are placed to secure everything in place. Sutures will be removed two weeks later. Post-operative care following a tooth extraction and placement of bone graft is essential for healing and preventing complications and/or loss of grafted materials.