When a tooth is extracted, a hole is left in the bone where the tooth existed. In most cases, the bone that surrounded the tooth may collapse. If an implant or bridge is desired to replace the tooth, the collapse may prevent implant placement or take away support from the teeth intended to hold the bridge. An allograft (bone graft) is placed in the socket to prevent collapse of the surrounding bone. An allograft is grafting material that is obtained from sources other than yourself. There are many sources- human, cow, and artificial substances are some examples.
The grafting material is left to heal within the jaw bone for several months. After the graft has consolidated and becomes firm, an implant can be placed into the bone. An allograft helps to maintain the surrounding bone and rebuild the jaw bone so that implant treatment can be performed. Once an implant has been placed, a crown can be fabricated to replace the tooth.