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Boise Dentist Blog

The professional blog of Doctors Dan Bruce, Steve Bruce, Rosa Pothier and Rob Ririe

Extraction socket preservation and bone grafting

Extraction socket preservation and bone grafting I just finished a day-long class on bone grafting and extraction socket preservation.  Many people don't know that bone is lost after a tooth has been extracted.  The most resorption occurs within the first year, but the bone slowly goes away in height and width with time after that.  For this reason, placing a bone graft in the socket is important for future implant placement. 

Grafting materials come from different places and can be derived from human tissue, animal tissues, synthetic sources or even a combination of sources.  Some of the best graft materials mimic the mineral and organic portions of the human tissue.  The graft material ideally maintains space and allows natural bone formation to occur.  With the ideal graft material and situation, implants can be placed within 3-4 months. 

Another method for maintaining bone height and width is a membrane.  Membranes are either resorbable or nonresporbable and create an ideal environment for adding bone to defects or allowing bone to grow to the height of an extraction socket.  The type of membrane and graft material used depends on the defect in the bone and the patients preferences. 

There are a number of other advances in grafting that have not been discussed, so for any situation there are a number of ways to maintain or get new bone for prosthetic work.

The Future

There is a compound called bone morphogenic proteint (bmp) which is great for stimulating bone growth almost anywhere.  At present, the cost for most situations is prohibative, but this looks like the future for treating areas where bone is scarce.

What Does This Mean to Me?

As a dental patient, these advances are very exciting.  We are able to replace missing teeth and maintain acceptable function and esthetics for patients.  If you have any questions on bone grafting or membrane usage in dentistry, feel free to contact our office