Dental implants are a welcome option in modern dental offices for those who have lost a permanent tooth. A missing tooth not only affects your self-confidence and appearance, it can also affect your overall oral health. Over time, the remaining teeth in your mouth can shift to fill in the gap, and even pull out of their sockets. This can be quite painful and lead to more problems, including an inability to eat. A dental implant becomes part of your natural bone structure and replaces the missing tooth with a composite that exactly mimics the look and shade of your natural teeth. In some cases, however, a patient who has a missing tooth may have suffered bone loss at the tooth site. There may not be enough bone structure remaining to properly place an implant. In these cases, bone and tissue grafting may need to be done.
What is bone and tissue grafting?
Bone and tissue grafting is a procedure in which your dentist will place a bit of bone onto the site where the bone is lacking structure. Because bone is living tissue, this process allows your body to grow new bone at that location, providing your dentist with enough bone mass to place the dental implant. In some cases, a soft tissue graft to help replace lost gum tissue may also need to be performed in a similar procedure.
If you are having a tooth extracted, your dentist may opt to place a bone graft during the procedure as a preventive measure, or as a way to prepare the site for a future dental implant. This procedure will be performed with either conscious sedation techniques or local anesthesia. In some cases, a bone graft and a dental implant may be placed at the same time, although this is not common.
Types of Bone Grafts
There are three main types of bone grafts that our oral surgeons may choose from:
- Allografts – In this type of bone graft, we use a tissue sample taken from another person in order to grow new bone.
- Autografts – In this type of bone graft, we take bone from another place on your jaw to help regenerate the bone at the graft site. This has the disadvantage of creating a second surgical site.
- Xenografts – In this type of bone graft, we use tissue from an animal, human-made materials, or synthetic grafting material in order to grow new bone.
It is important to note that the material used in both allografts and xenografts will be processed so that they are completely safe.
Is bone grafting safe?
Though it is a relatively new procedure in the field of dentistry, medical practitioners in other fields have been using bone grafting for many years. Sometimes referred to as bone regeneration, this practice has become a common part of wound healing and ordinary care. It has rapidly gained popularity in the dental field and is considered today to be one of the most routine procedures in modern dentistry.
For more information about the benefits of bone grafting in Redondo Beach, California, and to schedule your consultation with Dr. Trent Westernoff or Dr. Martin Mardirosian, please call Oral Surgery Partners today at 310-375-0514.