Bone Grafting

Bone grafting is needed to rebuild or preserve bone in preparation for a dental implant. In a healthy mouth, the roots of teeth are supported by bone. If a tooth is unhealthy or the tooth itself is missing, the bone can shrink away.

What is socket preservation?

Socket preservation involves placing a graft material at the time the tooth is removed to maintain and preserve the dimensions of bone. Using the illustration below, images A-E show the progression of bone healing after tooth removal with the placement of a socket preservation graft (C) and implant placement (E).

This image shows the progression of bone healing after tooth removal with placement of a socket preservation graft. Image B illustrates tooth removal with an empty socket. Image C illustrates placement of the grafting material through socket preservation. Image D shows the healed socket. Image E shows placement of a Biohorizons dental implant with adequate bone volume.

What is ridge augmentation?

Ridge augmentation involves building up the bone width prior to implant placement. Typically this is needed when a site had a tooth extracted without socket preservation or the extraction was completed in the distant past. If you evaluate the illustration below, you will see there is inadequate bone volume to support an implant. Ideally, bone would be present to the contour of the red dotted line in image D and should be completed prior to implant placement.

Tooth extraction without the completion of socket preservation may yield inadequate bone volume for implant placement. Ridge augmentation is needed to grow bone prior to implant placement.
This image shows the progression of bone healing without socket preservation. Insufficient bone volume is present in images C and D. The red dotted line in image D illustrates the required bone volume for predictable implant placement.

The main difference between these types of grafts is that socket preservation involves grafting a site immediately after a tooth has been removed, while ridge augmentation typically involves grafting a site months, years, or decades after the tooth has been removed. There are instances where a tooth has had so much bone loss around it, ridge augmentation may be needed at the time of extraction. In general, socket preservation is more predictable because the framework extraction site provides a better framework for the graft to turn into native bone. For this reason, Dr. Bousaba will likely recommend to have socket preservation completed if a tooth needs to be removed and there is any consideration for an implant in the future.

Where does the graft material come from?

Bone grafting particulate is most often obtained from sterilized and processed cadaver bone. In certain situations, bone can also be harvested from the same patient receiving the graft. After the graft is placed, your own bone will grow into the site and your body will break down the particles placed in the area.

If you are missing a tooth and would like to have it replaced with an implant, contact us today!

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