Bone Grafting

Learn about different bone grafting procedures performed by Dr. Potter by viewing the educational videos below.

Block Cortical Graft

When a tooth is lost a predictable series of events takes place, the gum tissues close over the extraction site, and new bone or osteoid begins to fill the socket formerly occupied by the tooth. Almost immediately, however, the bone begins to dissolve or resorb.  The extent of the resorpsion may make it difficult or impossible to replace the missing tooth with a cosmetically acceptable dental implant or a fixed bridge, unless bone grafting procedures are performed to re-establish the proper volume of bone. A procedured known as a block cortical graft is one common method Dr. Potter uses to rebuild areas of bone resorption. The gingiva is surgically elevated to gain access to the underlying bone defect several perforations are made through the dense outershell or cortex of bone which will allow good circulation to the graft. A block of bone can be harvested from the patient most commonly from the chin or posterior ramus or obtained from a tissue bank to use as the graft. The graft is true to proper size and shaped to fit the defect area as closely as possible. Next the graft is positioned over the defect and held in place with removable fixation screws. Powdered bone is used to fill it around the abrupt edges of the graft and the gingiva are closed and sutured. After a healing period of 6 months or so, the screws may be removed and a dental implant can be placed. Rebuilding the bone in this manner can lead to a very natural looking restoration whether the tooth is replaced with a dental implant or fixed bridge.


Ridge Preservation

Socket grafting or ridge preservation is a common technique by which bone loss is prevented following removal of a tooth. Bone powder generally obtained from a tissue bank is placed directly into the extraction socket immediately following removal of the tooth.  The body will use the graft as a scaffolding on which to build new bone, within a few months the socket will be filled with the patients own bone.  A barrier membrane like collagen is placed over the bone graft to prevent the gingiva from healing down into the bone. The membrane is typically held in place with sutures which often come out on their own.  Some dentists prefer to remove them after a few days.  Socket grafting preserves the volume of tooth supporting bone so that the tooth can be replaced ideally with a natural appearing dental implant or fixed bridge.


Sinus Elevation