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Bone grafting is a recommended option if you plan to replace an extracted tooth with an implant. After a tooth is removed, the bone naturally begins to resorb (melt away). The resulting bone loss can limit your choices for replacing the missing tooth. Grafting at the time of the extraction has the highest success with regards to preserving the bone. Grafting can also be completed after an extraction, although it often is more difficult to achieve the desired results. After placement of a graft, we allow 3-6 months of healing. During this time, the grafted bone fuses with your existing bone to create an optimal foundation for an implant. Grafting is performed with either your own bone, sterilized bone from another person/animal, or bone substitutes.