Northern Colorado Periodontics

Ridge Preservation Following Tooth Extraction


In some cases, when a tooth is broken, severely infected, or decayed to the point where it cannot be restored, the doctors or your general dentist may recommend that the tooth be removed. When a tooth is removed (extracted) the bone which surrounded that tooth no longer has a job to perform and it begins to dissolve away, much like an unused muscle will shrink without exercise. In fact, during the first year following removal of a tooth, up to 50% of the bone which used to hold the bone in place can go away. This may result in unsightly defects and complicate future replacement of the tooth with a dental implant.

To prevent these issues, Dr. Shumaker and Dr. Allen performs what is known as “ridge preservation” procedures. After gently removing your tooth with state-of-the-art instruments to preserve as much bone as possible, our doctors then add a bone graft, and in some cases growth factors, to the socket from which the tooth was removed. This process encourages your body’s natural capacity to regenerate bone and can reduce loss of bone width by 125% and loss of bone height by 244%. Because the doctors remove teeth in this gentle manner to meticulously preserve your existing bone, pain from the procedure is reduced and healing time is improved.

Ridge Preservation
Above: Very narrow ridge due to long-term tooth loss. This ridge was not bone grafted when teeth were removed. Alarge ridge augmentation bone graft will be required before implants can be placed.

Ridge Preservation Process

ridge preservation before

Tooth requiring extraction

Tooth requiring extraction

Ridge preservation graft

ridge preservation complete

Healed ridge ready for an implant with no loss of width.

If you need a tooth removed and would like to establish a healthy foundation for future dental implants or a bridge, please contact the doctor’s office at 970-207-4061 to schedule an evaluation, or ask your general dentist for a referral.

Get in Touch

    Fort Collins Office

    (970) 207-4061

    Fax Number

    (970) 207-0051

    Greeley Office

    3400 W 16th St
    Ste 5X
    Greeley, CO 80634

    Open Today 8:00am - 5:00pm

    More Info Directions (970) 714-2201

    Fort Collins Office

    4033 Boardwalk Dr
    Ste 100
    Fort Collins, CO 80525

    Open Today 8:00am - 5:00pm

    More Info Directions (970) 614-4313