An average of 40%-60% of original height and width is expected to be lost after tooth extraction with the greatest lost happening within the first two years. The height and width of the anterior alveolus undergo a loss of 1-2mm in all three dimensions. The effect of bone loss is magnified when multiple teeth are extracted in the same area. The width of the alveolar ridge decreased 50% and two-thirds of the reduction occurred within the first 3 months. Post extraction alveolar resorption is significantly larger in the buccal aspect in both jaws. The lost of tissue contour is greatest in the early post-extraction period (within 6 months).
Rationale for Socket Preservation The rationale for alveolar ridge preservation relies on the knowledge that alveolar ridge resorption is an unavoidable sequel of tooth loss. Its goal is to prevent the loss of 40%-60% of ridge height and width commonly seen after extractions. Preservation of socket is driven by the desire to minimize the need for future more invasive ridge augmentation procedures. Moreover, it also facilitates successful implant and conventional prosthetic treatment. Extraction site grafting often facilitates the best possible functional and aesthetic results. It is axiomatic therefore that socket preservation should be the treatment of choice to prepare the remaining alveolar ridge for conventional or fixture supported restorations.