One of the most common grafting procedures is ridge preservation following an extraction — to preserve bone height and width, and to create an optimal site for future implant placement. A simple technique I use to perform this procedure is commonly referred to as the Ice Cream Cone Grafting Technique, which gets its name from the ice cream cone-shaped resorbable membrane used. This simple and predictable technique was popularized by Dr. Dennis Tarnow of Columbia University College of Dental Medicine, one of the leaders in the field of implantology.
Following extraction, I begin by using scissors to shape a collagen membrane (Newport Biologics™ Resorbable Collagen Membrane 4–6 [Glidewell Laboratories; Newport Beach, Calif.]) into an ice cream cone-like shape. I insert the tapered “cone” end into the socket, lining the buccal wall, and fill the socket with Newport Biologics Mineralized Cortico/Cancellous Allograft Blend (Glidewell Laboratories). I prefer allograft blends like this, which provide an ideal combination of regenerative potential and structural integrity. Once the allograft material has filled the socket, I use the remaining flap of membrane that resembles the top of the ice cream cone to cover the site. In applying this method, I can suture the socket closed knowing that the grafting material will stay in place despite having a limited amount of soft tissue to work with.