Bone Grafting in Dentistry
A socket preservation graft is a type of bone graft used in Dentistry. This type of graft is used to fill an extraction socket with material that can heal into solid bone. A socket preservation bone graft must be placed at the time of tooth removal for best results. Avoiding post-extraction bone loss has many benefits with the main one being better results with replacement solutions like dental implant and dental bridges.
Is a bone graft necessary after tooth extraction?
No. But it does help treatment outcomes in a big way. A socket preservation bone graft mainly improves the outcome of restorative solutions like dental implants and bridges. However, it can also have advantages for patients proceeding with dentures. It can also have benefits for patients who choose not to replace their lost tooth. Here is a summary:
- Implants. There is a minimum amount of jaw bone surrounding a dental implant for long-term stability and success. Without enough bone, you can have accelerated bone loss and gum recession around an implant over time. A socket preservation bone graft ensures that you will have enough healthy bone to sustain dental implant therapy.
- Dental Bridges. A socket preservation will preserve proper bone height after extraction. Without one, you will experience bone loss and lower gum levels. The space between an opposing tooth and your recessed gums will be abnormally large. This is the space that a bridge tooth will fill. As you can imagine, your bridge tooth will need to be abnormally tall or long to fill this space. You can still make a successful bridge in this scenario, but the cost of extra materials to make an abnormally large bridge tooth is likely to exceed the cost of a socket preservation graft. So, a graft will save you money and improve the aesthetics of your dental bridge.
- Dentures. Most dentists do not place socket preservation grafts prior to denture therapy. However, the fit, stability and retention of your denture is directly related to the amount of jaw bone available. I routinely place socket preservation grafts in strategic areas during tooth extraction prior to dentures. The gums heal more predictably and with more jaw bone to enable proper extension of the denture.
- No Post-Extraction Tooth Replacement. Even when patients choose not to replace their extracted tooth, a socket preservation graft can still have benefits. Bone loss and gum recession at the extraction site can expose tooth roots on neighbouring teeth. These exposed areas can be very temperature-sensitive. Additionally, a socket preservation graft will preserve more bone at the extraction site to support adjacent teeth. This is especially important in cases where those neighbouring teeth have already sustained bone loss.
How much does a socket preservation graft cost?
The cost of a socket preservation graft varies based on the amount of graft material used, however, you should plan to spend $250-$350 on the procedure. However, it is possible to place a bone graft later instead of at the time of tooth extraction. Importantly, placement of graft material into a socket ensures the graft has a blood supply and nutrition from surrounding walls on all sides. If the graft is completed after socket healing, there is no socket available for plantation of the graft. Instead, the graft material is placed next to the healed jawbone (on the side facing the cheek). This requires a new surgical procedure and re-opening of the gums. In this procedure, call a “guided tissue regeneration”, the graft has to heal with blood supply and nutrition coming only from one of its sides.
The result is less predictable, the procedure three times more costly, and you have to endure a second surgical procedure. This underscores the convenience and importance of having a socket preservation completed at your extraction appointment.
Tooth extraction in conjunction with restorative services doesn’t have to be complicated. At Enamel Republic we are pleased to offer many advanced services at one convenient location.
If you would like to discuss tooth extraction and pre-prosthetic grafting, please give us a call at (519) 576-8160 or request an appointment here. Dr. Hornby provides advanced surgical services including grafting in conjunction with tooth replacement services.