The bone graft is done for two reasons. One the graft material is placed in the holes where the roots of the tooth use to be to help prevent the sides from caving because that would result in a flattened out or depressed area of bone. Secondly, the graft actually encourages new bone to grow and as this happens, your own bone takes over the graft and it all becomes uniform.
It takes 3-6 months for the graft to integrate with your own bone. The closer to the six month mark to have the implant put in the better. The bone is not fully integrated until about 9-12 months after it is originally placed.
If an implant is not placed in that area, some bone loss will occur. However, it may not be as severe as when no bone graft is placed and the socket is left to heal on it's own.
Sometimes certain teeth do not need to be replaced, other times they do. if you are using this tooth to chew with and there is a tooth above or below it that needs a buddy to chew against, then it is best to replace it. The opposing tooth will drift if it does not have a tooth to chew against. If this tooth is in between 2 teeth and it is not replaced, the adjacent teeth tend to shift inward towards the open space. This can lead to periodontal problems and the bite may be off.
Hope this information helps.
Originally Posted by punkypunk
I have heard some unclear information from my Oral Surgeon and haven't found quite what I'm looking for online either, so I will try asking on here. I just had my first extraction/bone graft on a tooth that had a root canal, but then broke so they said I needed an implant. When I went in today, they didn't place the implant but instead did just the bone graft and said in about 3 months they can do the implant. My question is this... I've been reading what a bone graft is and it seems like it avoids the problems of not filling in an extracted tooth by making it like there is a root there so the jaw doesn't sag and such. This tooth is in the back of my mouth and isn't a cosmetic issue. Do I really need an implant too or will just the bone graft suffice?