Ridge Preservation for Optimum Aesthetics and Function

When we lose a tooth the extracted root creates an opening. The surrounding bone is no longer stimulated by the tooth root, and it immediately begins to collapse and shrink. If there is too much bone loss, it will be impossible to place a dental implant for cosmetic and functional reasons. Therefore we must take preventative measures to preserve the natural ridge contours and maintain the surrounding bone for future tooth replacement.

Tooth Removal and Ridge (Socket) Preservation Bone Graft

In some cases, when a tooth is broken, severely infected, or decayed to the point where it cannot be restored, Dr. Dorfman or your general dentist may recommend that the tooth be removed. When a tooth is removed or extracted the bone which surrounded that tooth no longer has a job to perform and it begins to dissolve away, much like an unused muscle will shrink without exercise. In fact, during the first year following removal of a tooth, up to 50% of the bone which used to hold the bone in place can go away. This may result in unsightly defects and complicate future replacement of the tooth with a dental implant.
Ridge Preservation Above: A very narrow ridge from long term tooth loss and loss of bone resulting from teeth not being present to preserve bone

Ridge Preservation Bone Graft

To prevent these issues, Dr. Dorfman performs what is known as a "ridge preservation bone graft or socket preservation bone graft" procedure. After gently removing your tooth with state-of-the-art technology to preserve as much bone as possible, Dr. Dorfman then adds a bone graft, and in most cases platlet rich fibrin (PRF) which contains the patients own growth factors, to the socket from which the tooth was removed. This process encourages your body's natural capacity to regenerate bone and can reduce loss of bone width by more than 120% and loss of bone height by more than 200% based on several studies. Because Dr. Dorfman removes teeth in this gentle manner to meticulously preserve your existing bone, pain from the procedure is reduced and healing time is improved.
Ridge Preservation Tooth requiring extraction
Ridge Preservation Ridge preservation (socket preservation) bone graft
Ridge Preservation Healed ridge ready for implant with no loss of width.
The Ridge Preservation treatment begins with inserting a specialized bone substitute product into the opening and adequately filling the area.

A covering, that is designed to improve healing, is then shaped and applied over the site. To conclude the procedure the area is sutured and the natural healing process begins.

Over time the bone substitute product will be absorbed and replaced with your body's own bone. Once the site has completely matured the dental implant can be placed.

The primary goal of any ridge preservation technique should be to preserve both the hard and soft tissues, especially the interdental papillae, in such a way as to optimize aesthetics and function.

Biological Goals

Whenever there is an aesthetic concern, the blood supply and the natural soft-tissue anatomy at the edentulous site should be preserved. Ultimately, the avoidance of post-extraction bone resorption and the preservation of the natural soft-tissue anatomy at the endentulous site become the key elements to obtaining an optimal aesthetic rehabilitation at the site.