When a tooth is extracted, the socket will heal and eventually will fill in with bone over time. The amount of bone regrowth will not be adequate to support a dental implant if a patient wants to replace the tooth in this manner. Therefore, the periodontist will perform a socket bone graft after the tooth is extracted to preserve the outer alveolar ridge. The tooth is removed, socket is cleaned of infection, and a bone graft material is packed into the socket. This is allowed to heal for 3-6 months.
A dental implant can then be placed and the socket bone graft improves the long term result with the dental implant.