Due to invasive cavities, tooth or root fracture, a tooth cannot be retained and therefore must be removed. In certain situations, the tooth may be extracted and replaced the same day with a dental implant. This is called immediate implant placement. However, this sequence is not possible in many patients.
When immediate implant placement is not possible, a ridge preservation is completed at the time of tooth removal. During ridge preservation, a bone graft is placed into the socket and covered with a barrier membrane. This procedure helps to maintain the natural anatomical dimension of bone. Without ridge preservation, 50% of bone volume is lost within the first 3 months following extraction.
Ridge preservation is also recommended even when the intention is not to replace the missing tooth with a dental implant. Other options for tooth replacement include complete dentures, removable parital dentures, or fixed partial dentures (dental bridges). For all of the above options, ridge preservation helps to maintain bone volume, thereby increasing the stability and esthetics of the final restoration.