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What Is A Socket Graft And Why Should You Get One?

Bone grafts are a type of oral surgery that help you keep your mouth in great shape after getting teeth removed. An extra procedure, known as a socket graft, is often performed after a tooth is removed for a bone graft. What is this procedure and why should you consider it?

What Is A Socket Graft?

If you have to get a tooth removed from your mouth for any reason, you will have a small hole in your gum where it once sat. This is called the socket, and in the past, this hole just sat empty and would potentially alter the shape of your mouth. Socket grafting uses a small amount of dental filler to fill in the hole, helping it retain its natural shape. This also gives your gums the chance to heal over it.

This is an in-patient procedure that can be done in an hour or two. Some dentists suggest getting one whenever you get a tooth removed and before getting a bone graft, though it isn't strictly necessary. What are the benefits of this procedure and is it worth getting it done?

What Are The Benefits?

Although socket grafts aren't necessary for a successful bone graft, they are often suggested because they help build up the structural integrity of your mouth and keep it from changing shape. While there hasn't been a lot of research into socket grafts, the research that has been done suggests it is an appropriate and effective procedure.

It also helps prepare your gums for bone grafting by allowing it to heal fully and give your oral surgeon a place to install the replacement tooth. So if it is important for you to keep an aesthetically-pleasing shape to your mouth, socket grafts are worth the extra time.

Are There Any Care Tips After Getting A Socket Graft?

Should you decide to get a socket graft and, by extension, a bone graft, you need to follow these simple care tips to avoid complications:

  • Don't touch the wound
  • Avoid smoking for up to two weeks and – of course – quit completely if you can
  • Keep your hands away from the lips and don't pull them up
  • Don't rinse or spit on the day of your surgery
  • Rinse with salt water for five minutes the day after your surgery and for every five days after
  • Brush your teeth around the area after waiting 48 hours
  • Use the prescribed antibiotic rinse at least twice a day (but no more)

If you are interested in getting a socket graft to prepare for your bone graft, talk to your oral surgeon before the surgery. They can help prepare you for the procedure and give you even more information about how socket grafts can improve your oral health. Go to sites like this for more information.