This surgical procedure uses a barrier membrane (ex: Goretex or Atrisorb) placed under the gum and over the remaining bone support (ridge or jaw bone) to enhance regeneration of new bone in an area where teeth are being extracted or have already been removed. This is done to build up the bone support in an area in anticipation of the  placement of a dental implant or to improve the shape and contour of the ridge (jaw bone) prior to placing a  bridge or a partial denture.   To put it more simply, it prevents the collapse of the surrounding bone into the extraction socket (hole) after the removal of a tooth; if this is not done, the ridge becomes narrow and sharp and not conducive to the placement of an implant or for a comfortable-fitting denture.
    Below on the left is a molar which has severe bone loss on the front of the tooth such that the tooth must be extracted.  On the right, the molar has been extracted, leaving an empty socket.  If the socket is left alone, it will collapse and the ridge will be knife-like and unusable for an implant or for a denture.
Below , you can see the placement of a bone graft (there are many different types of bone grafts) into the socket, so that the ridge will not collapse and will hopefully be able to receive an implant. or a denture.
Placement of a BARRIER membrane:
Lower left photo: To be sure that the bone graft above is "sealed" , a barrier membrane (there are many different types) is placed over the bone graft.  On the lower right photo, the area is sutured to close over the wound to allow maximum healing.  The membrane in many cases will resorb on its own after several months.


Richard Mao, D.M.D.
Practice Limited to Periodontics
E-Mailwith Questions


402 Severn Bldg.
8600 La Salle Rd.
Towson, Md. 21286
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Bel Air, Md. 21014
Tel:(410) 879-6969