The alveolar bone, also called the alveolar process, is the part of the jaw that holds the teeth. The bone here supports the roots of the teeth and keeps them in place. The alveolar bone has two parts — the alveolar bone proper and the supporting alveolar bone. They are generally both the same at a microscopic level, because they both have nerves, blood vessels, cells, and fibers. However, the alveolar bone proper is the area of bone that comes directly into contact with the root of a tooth, or the lining of the socket. The alveolar bone proper is hard, compact bone and not soft, spongy bone. When a dental implant is placed, it comes into direct contact with the alveolar bone proper. Loss of the alveolar bone proper after the extraction of a natural tooth can make dental implants more complex and usually requires the use of a bone graft.