Coast Dental Blog

Fast Facts – Supporting Bone

Fast Facts: Perio Edition Episode 20
[Andrew Johnston, RDH]
Welcome back,  everyone. You are listening to another episode of Fast Facts- Perio Edition brought to you by A Tale of Two Hygienists in partnership with DentistRX. And now, please welcome your host, Katrina Sanders.
[Katrina Sanders, RDH]
Hello and welcome to Fast Facts: Perio Edition. Last week, we began the conversation about the alveolar bone and we talked about the alveolar bone proper being one aspect to the alveolar process. This week we are talking about the supporting bone, and it’s important to note that the supporting bone is the bone that encompasses or encases our alveolar bone proper.
This supporting bone itself has two parts: compact and cancellous bone. So your compact bone is kind of that smooth bone that covers the alveolar process. That’s where we see the buccal and lingual cortical plates, and within that compact bone, we see that the plates themselves are continuous with that cribriform plate.
So when we see the meeting of the cribriform plate and the buccal and lingual cortical plates, that’s where, of course, we see that beautiful lamina dura radiographically, the buccal and lingual cortical plates will vary in thickness, but typically we do see that that cortical plate is thicker on the mandible than on the maxilla. That’s why for those of us who practice in states where we can use local anesthesia, that’s why it’s oftentimes difficult for us to achieve adequate anesthesia if we’re doing infiltrations on the mandible.
We talk about that compact bone being thicker on the mandible, but on the maxilla we see that the compact bone itself is actually thicker on the palatal surfaces than it is on buccal surfaces. Whereas on the mandible, the bone is going to be thicker in the buccal, thinnest toward that incisor area.
The other type of bone that we have is cancellous bone, and that’s kind of that spongy or trabeculated bone, and that’s spongy or trabeculated bone is the bone that fills in the areas in between the buccal and lingual cortical plates and of course, in between the alveolar bone proper of adjacent teeth. We oftentimes do not see much, if any, cancellous bone when there is a close root proximity or when the roots of two teeth happen to be touching. In those cases, that interdental septum is relatively thin and we do find that the alveolar bone proper of the two teeth are oftentimes fuzed, which can kind of be an interesting finding.
Well, there you have it. We have now covered the alveolar bone proper from last week and the supporting bone of this week. Next week, we will be talking about the composition of the alveolar bone crest and the bone.
Enjoy, stay tuned and I look forward to seeing you next week!
This has been another episode of Fast Facts – Perio Edition with Katrina Sanders, RDH. Please feel free to reach me on Instagram @thedentalwinegenist or on my website Cheers.
[Andrew Johnston, RDH]
Thank you for listening to another episode of Fast Facts – Perio Edition, brought to you in part by DentistRX makers of the InteliSonic line of power brushes. Find out more by visiting their website at We’ll see you next week for another Fast Fact!

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