When removing a tooth it is important to consider what will be done with the empty space after that tooth is removed. Wisdom teeth are in the back of the mouth, so that site will heal on its own. However, if other teeth are removed and nothing is done with the extraction site, the jaw bone will degenerate and change shape during healing. This can create problems when replacing the missing tooth. For example, if you want to fill the space with a dental implant, sufficient jaw bone is necessary to install the implant. Socket preservation is a technique for reinforcing the new extraction socket to minimize collapse of the bony structures. The decision to do socket preservation should be made before the extraction.