Bone loss can cause problems before dental implant treatments.
At Painfree Dentistry, we can fix these issues through bone grafting to add bone mass so dental implants can be placed successfully. Bone grafts are commonly used in dental restorations that include implants and bridges.
Bone grafting can also be a cosmetic procedure to replace bone around the root of the tooth. We provide this service when the original bone was decayed due to disease. The grafted bone acts as a foundation to encourages the patient’s bone to re-grow and to hold existing teeth in place.
The success of bone restoration depends on the width, depth and height of the jawbone. When a jawbone has been damaged or has receded, a graft is recommended so treatment like dental implants can take place. Without the bone, the implant cannot be supported, and the foundation will be unstable.
What Affects Jawbone Volume?
- Tooth Extraction – Some patients can lose around 40-60% of their bone in the three years after tooth extraction.
- Injuries – If you injure your jaw, the blow can cause the bone to recede.
- Infections – An infection often causes bone loss.
- Periodontal Disease – Disease can affect the jawbone permanently. Over time, the affected area will not be able to support teeth, and they can become unstable.
Why Would a Bone Graft Be Recommended?
Bone grafting is a successful procedure that increases the amount of jawbone. There are two reasons why a bone graft will be recommended.
- Stabilize the jaw – A bone graft will stabilize the jaw and help restore the jaw foundation, which is necessary for implant surgery. Any deformities can also be fixed, and the new structure of bone will provide added support.
- Preservation – A bone graft can be used to prevent a bone recession or limit the effects. We would recommend bone grafting after a tooth extraction, periodontal disease, or other invasive procedures.
What Does Bone Grafting Involve?
To start, your dentist will examine the affected area to assess the condition of your teeth and gums. If there are problems like periodontal disease, this will be fixed before the graft can begin. We use a digital x-ray to see the depth and width of the bone - sometimes a CAT scan may be performed to see the bone condition. If needed, the dentist may also explore further to see how much bone is needed.
After your examination, your dentist will decide what the best type of graft for your condition is. There are several types of bone grafts to choose from, and those are:
- Autogenous Bone Graft – This graft uses bone from the patient’s body and is usually taken from the lower jaw or chin. Dentists prefer this way because they can predict the finished result more accurately.
- Allograft Bone Graft – A cadaver or synthetic bone is used.
- Xenograft – A bone from a cow is used in this type of graft.
A bone graft can take several months.
The bone will then fuse with the existing bone, which will cause adhesion and cell growth.
During surgery, the extraction and grafting site will be numbed. Next, a small incision will be made for the new bone. Sometimes a synthetic membrane will be used to cover the new bone. This will stop any bacteria from getting in and will encourage bone to grow.
After the procedure, the dentist will advise you on aftercare and will prescribe any medications needed.