Do I need to get a bone graft after having my back molar removed?

My number 15 molar has to have the roots extracted after decay from a root canal that went without a crown for a year and a half. The dentist put a bone graft down for needing to be done but did not explain to me why until I asked what the charge was for. They said it needed the bone graft to help prevent bone loss around the site. Is this correct? They also want to put in a pontic or implant on the site. 007210 surgical removal of erupted tooth r - 15 007953 Bone rep grft rdg preserv/site - 15

Doctor Answers 5

Bone Graft

A bone preservation graft after tooth removal should be considered standard of care. Bone atrophy accelerates when this is not done. Although back teeth atrophy at a higher rate than front teeth, it is still considered the right course to take.

Bone volume collapses after tooth removal

When a tooth is pulled, the empty space gets a blood clot and then turns into bone.  Within the first year after removal, the volume decreases by 40-60%, and 1-2% per year after that.  A bone graft prevents the loss of volume in that first year, allowing for a future implant.  If not grafted at time of extraction, the success rate of a graft in the future is significantly lower, often ruling out an implant as an option.

Bone grafting

Bone grafting is normal after a tooth is removed and an implant is to be placed. The graft allows the extraction site to heal without loss of it's contours. After removing #15 placing an implant is the normal process. Your only other choice is no tooth in this position. 

Yes , the bone graft was the right option

Now days every time when we do extraction , if we think that we would like to replace the tooth with the dental implant, we do what it called socket graft/bone graft, hopefully to get the best possible foundation for future dental implant. Now remember, after 3-4 months healing period, your dentist will do a CT scan/3 D xray  to see how much jaw bone and thickness/height of the bone you have for a dental implant. on this particular tooth on upper left #15,there is anatomical landmark there maxillary sinus associated with its roots where the roots used to be, additional procedure like sinus graft or sinus lift, or additional bone graft might be needed to be done so they don't violate your sinus with the dental implant, but your dental surgeon will tell you after reviewing a CT scan.hope this help and good luck!!

George Sahakyan, DDS
Glendale Dentist
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Bone graft, extraction

Dear zanderandkane:
 It is unfortunate that you lost a tooth. However, it really depends upon how much bone was left after the roots were removed.
Typically, if the roots were removed gently and there was bone before and the tooth was removed due to Tooth decay, there is no need for a bone graft. However, in that location, the bone is not abundant and a graft is sometimes necessary. You should really ask the dentist to show you the X-ray or the CT scan and explain to you why a graft was needed. Unfortunately without any further information this is all that can be assess at this point.Best of luck,

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.