Family, Orthodontic & Implant Dentistry


Family, Orthodontic & Implant Dentistry

Bone Grafting

Bone grafting is often seen in tandem with dental restorations such as bridge work and implants. The success of a restoration procedure can depend on how much bone there was at the site for an implant, which could make it difficult if not impossible to support these parts without some extra help from another source or even just plain old chewing action by its owner.

There are several major factors that affect jaw bone volume:

  • Periodontal Disease – Periodontal disease can affect and permanently damage the jaw bone that supports the teeth. Affected areas progressively worsen until the teeth become unstable.
  • Tooth Extraction – Studies have shown that patients who have experienced a tooth extraction subsequently lose 40-60% of the bone surrounding the extraction site during the following three years. Loss of bone results in what is called a “bone defect”.
  • Injuries and Infections – Dental injuries and other physical injuries resulting from a blow to the jaw can cause the bone to recede. Infections can also cause the jaw bone to recede in a similar way.

What Does Bone Grafting Involve?

There are several types of bone grafts. Your dentist will determine the best type for your particular condition.

  • Autogenous Bone Graft - Harvested from the patient’s own body (usually from the posterior part of the lower jaw or the chin). This method is usually preferred because it produces the most predictable results.
  • Allograft Bone Graft - Cadaver or synthetic bone is used in this type of graft.
  • Xenograft - Cow bone is used in this type of graft.

The bone grafting procedure can take several months to complete. Bone is typically harvested from your own body (or on rare occasions obtained from a “bone bank”) and added in order strengthen the affected site, which will fuse with existing bones over time as cells migrate throughout it like glue-like substances until there's no hint that anything was ever wrong at all.

During surgery, the dentist will numb your gums using local anesthetic. A small incision is made to prepare for new bone and it's anchored in place with some synthetic membranes if necessary.

The surgery does not require an overnight stay, and you will be provided with comprehensive instructions for your post-operative care. The dentist will prescribe medications to help manage infection, discomfort and swelling in order to give the best results possible!

Reasons for bone grafts

Bone grafting is the preferred alternative to missing teeth, diseased ones or tooth deformation. This treatment can increase height of jaw bone and fill in voids created by injury or disease on it.

Bone grafting has been used for many years to help heal tooth damage. There are two basic ways in which this can positively impact your teeth:

  • Jaw Stabilization – Bone grafting stabilizes and helps restore the jaw foundation for restorative or implant surgery. Deformities can also be corrected and the restructuring of the bone can provide added support.
  • Preservation – Bone grafting can be used to limit or prevent bone recession following a tooth extraction, periodontal disease, or other invasive processes.

Oral Examination

The first step in order to bone grafting will be an examination of the affected area by a dentist. If periodontal disease or teeth nearby are compromised, they must also be addressed before proceeding with this procedure; otherwise you could risk losing more than just some healthy gums. A panoramic x-ray will help the dentist assess just how much bone is present. If there's not enough, they may recommend a CAT scan to determine what kind and depth of treatment is necessary for your teeth replacement needs - but don't worry! You can still get this done without anesthesia if desired too.