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Do You Need a Bone Graft?

There are times when you might need the help of a dental bone graft because you have lost vital bone density in your jaw, where the bone resorbs (melts away), negatively impacting your surrounding teeth.

Bone loss occurs when your mouth suffers trauma, tooth loss or advanced gum (periodontal) disease. When extracting a tooth, bone removal may be needed to get it out, leaving you with unwanted bone loss. Even having cysts or tumors in the jaws can deteriorate or destroy vital bone.

How Bone Is Lost

So, how does your bone density diminish? Time naturally does this as you age, and bone can be lost even more quickly when hastened by health issues such as birth defects, tumors, and sinus problems.

Trauma and untreated periodontal disease can also speed up bone density loss. But the most common factor in jaw bone deterioration stems from missing teeth that are not replaced, whether from injury, loss from extensive tooth decay, or simply extraction.

Dental implants are a common remedy to tooth loss, but if there is already bone loss, having a dental implant will allow the dental implant to be successful in replacing the missing teeth. No matter what the cause of your bone loss, bone grafting can succeed in replacing lost bone density.

The material used comes from a bone source with a few options. An Allograft works by taking bone from a deceased human body, while a Xenograft is taken from an animal (like a cow), and an Autograft takes bone material from somewhere in your own body (like your jaw). An Allograft has a high rate of success because the bone material comes from your body, making it biocompatible, while an Alloplast comes from synthetic graft material making it the least common bone grafting option.

Dental Bone Grafts

Our oral surgeons can add much-needed bone volume and density with a dental bone graft, essentially regenerating it. Not to worry, bone grafts are quite common procedures.

You may need a bone graft if you are scheduled for one of the following: to have one or more teeth extracted, are going to have a missing tooth replaced with a dental implant, are getting dentures and need to have your jaw rebuilt, or to replenish lost bone density from advanced gum disease (periodontitis).

Once a bone graft has healed in preparation for a dental implant, signals are sent to your brain to keep the renewed bone in the area and not let it become resorbed. It is why replacing tooth roots is so important, because that is one of their main functions, stimulating the jaw bone. We can take this volume-boosting bone material from a variety of sources:

  • Autogenous: your body
  • Allograft: human tissue bank
  • Xenograft: animal tissue bank
  • Alloplast: a synthetic source

In a nutshell, the purpose of a dental bone graft is to give your body the space it needs to repair itself as your bone tissue grows and regenerates.

Four Most Common Bone Grafts

If you have a tooth pulled, we can fill in the gaps by performing socket preservation, also known as ridge preservation. This particular bone graft is done right away to keep the sides of the tooth socket from caving in.

A ridge augmentation can also be done if you have had missing teeth for a long time, resulting in diminished supportive jawbone. This bone graft treatment will boost the width and volume of your jawbone material to support dental implants or other types of tooth restoration.

A sinus lift can be done when you have lost upper back teeth, allowing the sinus to descend and take up space where the previous teeth ‘roots were. A sinus lift moves the sinus back up where it should be so the bone graft can be inserted below the sinus and later support a dental implant.

A periodontal bone graft is done when gum disease has ravaged the supportive jaw bone holding teeth, making them loosen. This bone graft provides additional support while keeping the teeth from shifting.

Guided Bone Regeneration

When you receive your bone graft, a unique covering can be placed over the graft to protect the area while it heals. This membrane (which acts as a bandage) disintegrates as the bone heals in due time. This bone healing membrane with bone graft is known as guided bone regeneration.

Having a dental bone graft done can help you receive tooth replacement options like dental implants or some other restoration, thanks to the ability of bone grafts to restore your jaw density to its former state and volume.

Today’s modern technology allows us to perform this highly successful bone grafting treatment comfortably in our office, giving you the healthy, beautiful smile you deserve. We welcome you to give us a call to learn more about bone grafting and how we can help!