Socket Preservation

Your confident smile is our goal.  To get it you’ll need healthy teeth and healthy gums, and you’ll need a dentist with cosmetic dentistry expertise – to get the shape, position, and color of your teeth just right for you.  Whether you need porcelain veneers or a full-mouth restoration, Dr. Forbes and the team at Capital Dental Design in Richmond can help you every step of the way.

Socket Preservation in Richmond, VA

Following the extraction of a tooth, the socket in the jawbone the tooth once occupied will be left empty. Over time, this empty socket can begin to result in bone loss, which can complicate your oral health and reduce your viability for replacing that missing tooth with a dental implant. To prevent these issues from developing, we recommend taking socket-preservation measures following the extraction of your tooth. This simple process can take place immediately following the removal of your tooth through placement of the graft (human, animal, or synthetic) into the socket.

To learn more about socket preservation, please refer to the following, or schedule an appointment today. We proudly serve patients throughout Richmond and the surrounding area, including neighborhoods like Southampton, Stratford Hills, Westover Hills, Bon Air, Libbie and Grove, Church Hill, The Fan, Westham, Museum District, and Mooreland Farms.

At Capital Dental Design, we are committed to providing you with effective, considerate care and helping you get the bright, beautiful smile you have always wanted!

Preservation Process

Socket preservation is typically (though not always) performed in conjunction with a tooth extraction procedure. If a tooth extraction is necessary, the procedure begins by numbing the area near the tooth using local anesthesia, which will take care of any physical pain. Dental sedation is available for patients who require additional assistance with pain management and/or anxiety at having the procedure performed. Once you are comfortable, we will remove the tooth from its socket. While the tooth is being removed, you may experience some pressure which may make you feel a little uncomfortable but will not be painful. Once the tooth has been extracted, a small graft is placed in the socket to preserve the health of your jawbone, avoid developing a dry socket, and ensure that you have adequate bone volume to support a dental implant if you decide to replace the missing tooth in the future.

Aftercare Instructions

Following your tooth extraction and socket preservation, you will likely begin to feel some discomfort once the anesthetic has worn off, but this can typically be managed with OTC NSAIDs, such as Advil, unless the extraction was more complicated and required cutting into the bone, gums, or both, in which case prescription pain pills will be prescribed, which should be taken as directed. Antibiotics may also be prescribed, which should also be taken as directed.

If possible, take at least the following day off work to recover. It is also important to stick to a soft food diet for the first few days following the extraction and absolutely avoid spitting, rinsing your mouth, or using a straw for the first 24 hours following surgery. If you are a smoker, you should avoid smoking for at least two weeks.   We may also recommend swishing with warm saltwater or with a clinical mouthwash that we will provide. Hot or cold compresses can help reduce swelling.

Once you have completed the healing process, you will not have to make any additional modifications to your oral hygiene self-care, although it may be possible that the reason the tooth extraction and socket preservation was necessary in the first place is that you have not been taking proper care of your oral health. Make a habit of brushing and flossing your teeth twice daily and follow a balanced diet that is not overloaded with foods that are sugary or acidic. Additional steps you can take include drinking more water, especially after every meal and using a mouthwash and/or fluoride toothpaste.

Finally, the most important step you can take to preserve your oral health and avoid the need for procedures such as a tooth extraction is to schedule a regular examination with us at least twice a year, or with greater regularity if you are at an increased risk of developing oral health issues. These visits ensure that Dr. Forbes can evaluate your oral health and identify issues before they develop into something worse. They also allow us to perform one of our three types of dental exams: a limited exam (for specific concerns), comprehensive exam (thorough examination of your overall oral health followed by treatment recommendations), or our signature exam, which includes the comprehensive exam as well as a full head and neck exam and ideas for a Digital Smile Design.

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Cost of Socket Preservation

Several factors will determine the total cost of your tooth extraction and socket preservation. The complexity of the extraction and whether multiple procedures and appointments are necessary will have the biggest impact on treatment cost. Additional costs will be incurred if dental implants are placed, if dental sedation is necessary, and whether the procedure is covered (and if so, how much) by your dental insurance plan. Prior to scheduling any procedure, we will discuss the anticipated costs, verify your benefits (if applicable) to determine out-of-pocket costs, and answer any questions you have about billing.

If you are not covered under a dental insurance plan, or if you are simply interested in saving money, consider joining the Capital Dental Design Membership Plan. Although we make every effort to keep our services affordable for all patients, joining our membership plan allows us to save you even more money by covering the cost of preventive care such as cleanings, exams, and routine x-rays. We also offer discounts of 10-15% on other dental services offered at our clinic. To learn more about our membership plan, payment options, or anticipated costs, contact our office today!

Call Today to Schedule a Consultation

At Capital Dental Design in Richmond, one of the main things our patients love about us is that we are a patient-centered practice. We treat our patients like family, which means we take the time to understand who you are, your medical and oral health history, and your oral health goals, because doing so allows us to do everything we can to help you and your family reach those goals.

If you have not joined us as a patient yet and/or if you would like to schedule an appointment to determine whether a tooth extraction and socket preservation is necessary, contact us today online or call us directly at (804) 320-8894.

We are here to brighten your smile and provide you with the personalized care you deserve!