When a tooth is removed, the socket that used to house the root of the tooth collapses and experience resorption, as the surrounding tissue no longer has a tooth to support. Preserving the bone volume becomes especially important if you are considering having dental implants down the road to restore function. However, as the bone in your jaw goes through what is called “remodeling” following an extraction, changes that follow tend to be unfavorable in the placement of dental implant if grafting isn’t done at or around the time of extraction preserve the ridge.
Why not graft when I’m ready for the dental implant instead of getting it done when I need my tooth removed?
It is difficult to predict how the extraction site will heal. When the tooth is removed, the surrounding bone that housed the root serves to contain the graft material. A freshly extracted site also had not lost any vertical height and so with bone grafting performed at the time of tooth removal, it will more likely maintain that height. However, when the ridge is allowed to heal and remodel without grafting to preserve the ridge, the ridge often loses volume in all dimensions. Increasing the height of the ridge is more challenging and less predictable than attempting to increase the thickness. Therefore, if you may be interested in having a dental implant down the road, it is recommended that the extraction site be grafted at the time of the tooth extraction to avoid potential problems down the road that may be more costly to correct.