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ADI explores socket grafting for implant success

For clinicians looking to expand their knowledge and skills with dental implants, there is a broad range of clinical concepts to learn. By uncovering the latest research, opinions and expert insights into the relevant fields, dentists can arm themselves with the relevant capabilities to deliver safe, ethical and effective patient care. This is especially important for those nearer the beginning of their implant journey.

Dr Viraj Patel was among the coveted speakers at the inaugural ADI Next Gen Masterclass, which was designed for clinicians who are relatively new to dental implantology. The event covered various relevant topics, exposing delegates to a range of experts, practical support and evidence-based techniques.

Viraj’s session, entitled “Socket Grafting for Successful Long Term Implant Outcomes”, explored the literature available in the field. He also offered advice on achieving best practice with regards to the clinical technique employed and the impact this can have on treatment outcomes.

Socket grafting is often utilised in situations of aesthetic concern and severe damage to the bone walls post-extraction.[i] Research has shown equal survival rates and marginal bone loss stability for dental implants placed into augmented sockets, compared to those inserted into non-grafted sites.[ii]

Like any medical procedure, socket augmentation is not without its risks. Reflecting on some of the most common complications that occur with the procedure, Viraj comments:

“Clinical challenges can arise when tooth extraction causes damage to the bone and/or the soft tissue. Sectioning can help avoid problems, as can the use of sharp instruments, which are more efficient and cause less damage to the surrounding tissues than blunt alternatives.

“The development of infection at the surgical site can also create issues after socket grafting. This is why it’s so important to carefully debride the area before closing. It’s important to keep everything as sterile as possible, as well as prescribe the correct post-operative medication to the patient.

“Managing either condition relies on effective clinical judgement of the specific case situation. As always, it’s crucial to warn patients about all the risks involved with treatment, and they should fully understand the potential of compromised outcomes that may result from complications associated with socket grafting. With sufficient clinical skill and experience, and a good understanding of biology and materials, implants can still be placed even when complications arise during socket management.”


As Viraj alludes to, the materials used during socket grafting are vital for successful outcomes. Even a basic knowledge of material science is useful for clinicians looking to optimise treatment while reducing the risk of complications. Various bone grafting materials and membranes are available on the market today, each offering advantages for different cases and clinician or patient preferences. Being aware of the options and what they offer is important for appropriate material selection. Viraj provides some further advice for colleagues:

“The surgical protocol stays the same for all cases of socket preservation. Often, the use of a more rigid or non-resorbable membrane will help to enhance results. These membranes should be placed and tightly bound down with sutures in order to ensure the bone is properly compacted. Clinicians should also make sure the socket is correctly and completely filled to prevent voids and spaces.

“Ultimately, socket grafting is a highly effective and efficient solution for managing the implant site. With the right materials and adequate skill, dentists can deliver patients to highly successful long-term implant outcomes.”


Viraj is an active member of the Association of Dental Implantology (ADI), which remains a keen advocate for professional education and training that facilitates safe and effective implant care for patients. The Next Gen Masterclass is just one example of the support provided specifically for dentists who are new to the implant field, with other events and opportunities to get involved being held throughout the year.

Sharing his experience of ADI membership, Viraj says:

“The ADI is one of the few organisations in the UK that is unbiased in that it has no affiliations to any particular brand or manufacturer. It also gives every clinician an opportunity to learn, which is amazing. The ADI has a family feel, made up of like-minded clinicians without egos – it’s just a great environment to be in. ADI events are a big networking benefit and there are always great speakers; the biennial ADI Team Congress, for example, is the one event that is 100% in my calendar every time!”


To access the industry-leading education presented by the ADI, in addition to the network of highly experienced clinicians and several other benefits available, join today. Alongside the Next Gen events, there is a myriad of online and in-person learning opportunities, record keeping templates, patient information leaflets and more for you to make the most of.


[i] Kim YK, Ku JK. Extraction socket preservation. J Korean Assoc Oral Maxillofac Surg. 2020 Dec 31;46(6):435-439. doi: 10.5125/jkaoms.2020.46.6.435. PMID: 33377470; PMCID: PMC7783174.


[ii] Ramanauskaite A, Borges T, Almeida BL, Correia A. Dental Implant Outcomes in Grafted Sockets: a Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. J Oral Maxillofac Res. 2019 Sep 5;10(3):e8. doi: 10.5037/jomr.2019.10308. PMID: 31620270; PMCID: PMC6788428.

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