Tooth loss for any reason can have significant, long-lasting effects on your overall oral health. The most noticeable effect is how the loss influences your smile’s appearance, but perhaps the most profound consequence is the gradual loss of jawbone around the site of your lost tooth’s socket. Once stimulated by the presence of your tooth’s root, the socket and surrounding jawbone become resorbed after a tooth is lost, causing the jaw to shrink and lose mass and density. When your tooth must be extracted, the site can be bolstered through extraction site preservation, which preserves your smile by refortifying your jawbone around the site of the extracted tooth and its root.
There is a wide variety of potential reasons why a tooth might need extraction. For instance, wisdom teeth often become impacted and must be removed to stop or prevent extensive damage to the rest of your teeth. Others may become severely damaged or infected, or exhibit other complications that make saving the tooth impossible, and therefore extraction may be the best option. Except for wisdom teeth, most other extracted teeth must be replaced, preferably with a dental implant to reestablish the stimulation your jawbone needs to remain strong and healthy.
After a tooth is extracted, jawbone resorption can begin almost immediately. To stem the loss of jawbone structure, your dentist can recommend extraction site preservation, which involves grafting bone or a biocompatible substitute onto the jawbone at the site of tooth extraction. The graft helps prevent jawbone loss while rebuilding the extraction site to better receive a dental implant post and restoration.