Socket Preservation

When a tooth has to be removed and an implant is planned in that position then preservation of the socket is a must. The extraction must be done as gently as possible to preserve the bone, and steps must be taken to ensure maximum bone regeneration.

Socket preservation is usually done if there was an active infection of the lost tooth, or if the lost tooth had multiple roots. Allowing
the bone to fill in the socket will allow for the infection to be cleared away, and prevent any unwanted deflection of the implant during placement.

Socket Preservation - 1When a tooth is extracted (removed) it leaves a socket.

Socket Preservation - 2Under normal circumstances, bone (yellow) will fill in that socket from below. However, soft tissue (red) can also dive down into that same socket. Soft tissue grows faster than bone, and thus limits the amount of bone healing in the socket. If there is insufficient bone you may not be a candidate for implants.

Socket Preservation - 3When preserving a site for implants, a membrane (green) is placed at the time of extraction over the socket.

Socket Preservation - 4A membrane acts like a shield or an umbrella over the socket, thereby preventing soft tissue from entering the socket. This will allow the body’s own natural regenerative ability to re-grow the bone in the socket.

Generally, in 4 months there has been sufficient healing and you can return for placement of your implant.

If there was damage to the socket, such as from a large infection or damage during the extraction, then bone graft material may need to be used. Since the body needs to turn-over this bone graft, the socket must heal for an 8 month period before implants can be placed.


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Pam L. (Periodontal patient)
Jun 29, 2014


Due to the severity of my dental needs, my regular dentist referred me to Dr. Engen’s office. Being referred to a periodontal specialist is not something I would wish upon anyone, and it was difficult going to another dentist. However, from the minute I entered their office I was greeted by professional, friendly staff members who acknowledged me with a warm smile and a pleasant, cheerful welcome. The doctors and hygienists demonstrated a high level of expertise and technical competency by effectively communicating the options available to address my dental needs. Each and every staff member I encountered, from the receptionist, to the doctors are extremely dedicated to creating a long term relationship with each one of their patients, including taking the time to educate each patient about oral hygiene. The staff at your office works harmoniously, cooperatively and effectively as a team to make your time with them as productive as possible. I would highly recommend this office to anyone seeking resolution to any dental issues and be assured you will be pleasantly surprised with your time with them.

Patricia A.
Jun 29, 2014


Dr. David has a wonderful chairside manner, just as his father did when I saw him many years ago. He made me feel very comfortable