Socket preservation, or medically known as alveolar ridge preservation is a procedure to reduce and minimize bone loss after a tooth extraction. The extracted area on the ridge, also known as the socket, has a natural tendency to become narrower and lose its original shape. This is because the bone is quickly resorbed, resulting in 30–60% loss in volume in the first six months.
Socket preservation technique is used to insert extra bone graft material into the socket to preserve the integrity and strength of the extracted area.
This technique has multiple benefits, not only resulting in a more natural look of the ridge, but it also sets a foundation for future implants to be placed, allowing any desired restorative treatment to be carried out. If the socket is not preserved after a tooth loss, the surrounding teeth can move into the empty extracted area causing crooked teeth and a misaligned bite.