A “critical summary” in the March 2016 Journal of the American Dental Association addressed the positive effects of grafting at the time of dental extraction. (JADA 2016:147:204-206). I have been doing this type of grafting for about 30 years and as the technology and materials have improved, the results continue to be even better. The technology is going faster than the critical peer-reviewed literature so in my practice I am performing successful procedures that we learn about at our meetings but possibly have not been reported on yet. The articles in our present day journals are often talking about techniques that we were using several years ago. This is normal, and in a big way medical and surgical practices are where ideas and techniques are refined.

Like so many things, individuals with better structure to start with, do better with these procedures. The opposing experience has taught me to be realistic and appropriately cautious when treatment planning for someone who has poor tissue and bone structure to start with or patients with an “immune deficient profile”. It is not that we cannot do it – it just may require additional procedures or different techniques. As a patient you must be realistic: as a doctor you must be observant and wise.

The techniques we have now using bioactive materials like PRGF and PRF along with bone and bone substitutes (allografts, alloplasts, xenografts, etc.) have made this much more successful. Again, you must have realistic expectations and competent care. There is no question that we have better results with bone retention in the long run when we graft rather than when we do not graft. In fact, bone loss without grafting is common at extraction sites. As this technology improves and as the cost of materials have come down these have become standards of care in my practice.

If you have questions, call Wagner Oral Surgery and Dental Implant Specialists at (262) 634-4646 to learn more.