Understanding What a Dental Bone Graft Is and Whether You Need One

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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.

Dental Bone Grafts

Our oral surgeon 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 a 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!