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Bone Grafting

Bone Grafting

When it comes to dental health, most bone grafting procedures are done to restore your jaw bone to a healthier form, following tooth loss, gum disease or trauma. Bone grafting may also be used to maintain bone structure after a tooth extraction. Restoring and maintaining facial bone structure is important for several reasons. Many dental procedures, including dental implant placement, require the jaw bone be as close to its original dimension and position as possible for best results. Also, the jaw and other facial bones support the skin and muscles responsible for our outward cosmetic appearance. Without the support of the underlying bone, our faces can look prematurely aged.

Bone grafting is associated with dental restorations such as implants and bridges. For implants specifically, in order for an implant to be successful, the height, width and depth of the jawbone in certain places is crucial. With jawbone that has receded or been damaged, the implant may not be fully supported. In this case, a bone graft may be recommended.

Causes of Jawbone Issues:
  • Periodontal Disease – Jawbone can be reduced due to periodontal issues, causing teeth to become increasingly unstable as the disease worsens.
  • Extraction – According to studies, patients who have had teeth extracted experience a 40% - 60% loss of bone to the extracted area over the following three years.
  • Infections and Other Issues – Facial and dental injuries can cause bone recession in the jaw. Infections can cause a similar result.

For areas of infection, injury or disease, bone grafting is used for repair. Typically, the bone is obtained from a tissue bank or your own bone taken from the jaw, hip or tibia. Special membranes can also be utilized to protect bone grafts and support bone regeneration. This process is known as bone regeneration or guided tissue regeneration.

When large grafts are needed because of defects, surgery or major injury, your own bone is used. This bone can be taken from a number of sources, including the cranium, hip and lateral knee.