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Is It Normal? Extraction Bone Graft White Membrane Showing

A extraction socket bone graft for dental implants that has a non-dissolvable membrane should look like this while it is healing. This procedure is done in preparation for dental implants.

My patient called me to ask what is that white thing there? I told him that it is a non-dissolvable PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene) membrane with PTFE stitches. It holds the bone in and prevents gum from growing into the socket.

This is intended to stay like this for about 3-6 weeks. The reason why I suggest you have your socket bone graft done this way is that the results are very predictable. This white membrane with good technique has a very predictable outcome.  It is all about the technique not so much the product.  Experience matters.  The most important thing is that your socket is completely cleaned out and that the membrane is stable.

He just really wondered what this white piece was. He came back a few weeks later and I snipped the sutures and removed the membrane in about 60 seconds. This is typically very painless.

After removal of the membrane you should see pink new gum healing with possibly some surface bone particles if a particulate graft was used.

Here is the complete photo series from failing root canal x-ray, extraction, bone graft, membrane healing at 10 days, implant placement with L PRF platelet gel, final x-ray of two dental implants:

Failing root canals with bone infections
PTFE white membrane normal healing over socket extraction bone graft for dental implants
Membrane removed showing very nice healing
Implants placed with PRF platelet gel in between and will be allowed to heal for 3 or 4 months

So it is important to clarify that on this patient that I extracted two bad root canal teeth that this membrane was purposely left exposed. Some membranes that I put in are under the gum and not intended to be exposed at all. The specific type of PTFE membrane does well exposed.

If you have had this done, do not chew on this area until everything is completely healed and the membrane is out. The bone typically takes 4-6 months to form.

Ramsey A. Amin, D.D.S.
Diplomate of the American Board of Oral Implantology /Implant Dentistry
Fellow-American Academy of Implant Dentistry

10 thoughts on “Is It Normal? Extraction Bone Graft White Membrane Showing

  1. I had a socket graft done March 9, tooth #11, the gum tissue is still red/irritated. I saw my dentist last week because I was concerned. He said its red due to the extra bone particles. Does gum tissue usually stay red/ irritated after a socket graft?

  2. Hi I had a implant done on my upper left front tooth about 2 years ago now and it has like a white kinda some black stuff around it behind my tooth toward the top idk if it’s something to be worried about or if it’s normal it doesn’t hurt or anything

  3. Twenty-three days ago I had a lower right molar removed and a bone graft placed. The surgeon extracted blood for a “plasma rich fibrin membrane” and likely some other type of membrane covering. I recovered from the surgery pretty well, took all my amoxicillin at the precise times, followed all the advice re: oral hygiene, and eating. I was told not to chew on the right side of my mouth for a month and was scheduled for a follow up Jan 9 ( a little longer than a month post surgery and bone graft). The stitches dissolved at about day 7 or 8. THe area feels really good, but instead of gum tissue growing closer together, it seems to have widened a bit and I can see a bit of the membrane, but the gum edges are “rolled” over the site still. I just assumed that the gum edges would grow closer together and I am freaking myself out about the edges getting further apart. It was just a slight gap and now it’s a bit larger—seems like it is going in the wrong direction. THere’s no redness, no blood, no pain. I even forget sometimes that something was done.

    I rinsed with the peroxyl for more than 7 days and wonder if I slowed down the healing. Now I just rinse with the warm salt water after meals.j Then I wondered if the gum was even SUPPOSED to heal over the membrane (have no idea if it is re-absorb type or not). I haven’t accidentally brushed the surgery area and use a q-tip to clean the molar behind and the tooth in front. I avoid using the waterpik on that side of my mouth.

    Eventually the plan is to get an implant. It was super expensive and I’m a bit freaked out, but wondering if I am over thinking it.

    1. We all have the tendency to worry. It sounds like it is going well. The gum will close for sure. It may be purposeful in this scenario.

      1. Is it normal after a week of having a tooth extracted and the white membrane being placed, that your breath still stinks?

        1. You need to clean around the area. Go ahead and brush gently or use a Q-tip with some Listerine or special mouth rinse that was provided by your dentist. Nothing should be stinky..

  4. A week ago, I had a bone graft done in my upper right jaw because I have 2 missing teeth there. I am on Brillanta, an anti-platelet medicine. The surgergical site kept oozing. So, about 4 days ago, my cardiologist allowed me to stop this medicine and use low dose aspirin instead. This helped the bleeding, but I developed a hematoma on my cheek! My surgeon just said to put warm compresses. My daughter is s nurse and says they can use ultrasound to break up the clot. Have you ever had this happen? What is your advice?

    1. Heat, pressure and time is best. If you have access to the ultrasound you can try that but it is not common in dentistry.

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Dr. Ramsey Amin has extensive experience in surgical and restorative implant dentistry. As one of only less than 400 Diplomates of the American Board of Oral Implantology/ Implant Dentistry (ABOI/ID) he is considered an expert, and board-certified in dental implants. He is a former instructor at the UCLA School of Dentistry.