Bone grafting is a procedure that helps improve dental stability and functionality while preserving your facial shape and aesthetics. By renewing the density and strength of your jawbone, bone grafting can help improve your overall oral health or prepare you for certain restorative treatments, such as dental implants.
There are many reasons why your dentist may recommend a bone graft. Read on to learn more about how bone grafts can support effective restorative dentistry.
Why Bone Grafting Is Necessary
Bone grafting is used to heal and bolster portions of your jaw that have been affected by oral health problems. When missing teeth are not replaced, your jaw resorbs bone in the areas vacated by the teeth. Without permanent teeth to stimulate bone density, jaw tissue begins to deplete. Within one year of missing a tooth, you can lose as much as 25 percent of the bone in that area. A bone graft can help replace lost bone volume and provide sustained strength to your upper or lower arch.
Over time, the bone graft merges and grows into the surrounding tissue, forming a natural part of your jaw. However, bone grafts can take some time to heal and integrate. Fortunately, bone grafting procedures are highly effective and ensure that later dental treatments provide lasting results.
Who Needs a Bone Graft?
Anybody with bone loss in their jaw may benefit from a dental bone graft. This procedure is often recommended if you:
- Plan to replace a missing tooth or teeth with a dental implant.
- Need to rebuild your jaw before getting dentures.
- Are extracting a tooth.
- Have areas of bone loss as a result of gum disease.
How to Know if You Need Bone Grafting
Bone grafting techniques are often recommended after tooth extraction or before dental implant placement. During the planning stages, your dentist will do a thorough exam to determine which areas of your jaw require treatment. Using advanced 3D scanning technology, your dentist can pinpoint areas where the jaw bone is depleted and requires restoration before further treatments can be performed. If you’ve had a missing tooth for more than a year, there is a good chance a bone graft is necessary.
How Bone Grafting Works
A dental bone graft adds density and volume to your jaw in areas where bone loss has occurred. Oral surgeons usually take bone graft material from other parts of your body (autogenous graft), from animal tissue (xenograft), or from human tissue (allograft). But in some instances, the graft material may be derived from a synthetic material (alloplastic graft).
Depending on your unique situation, oral surgeons may combine dental bone grafting with platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy. Typically, plasma is taken from a sample of your blood and is used to enhance healing and tissue regeneration.
Dental Restorations After Bone Graft
After you have healed completely from a bone graft procedure, you’ll be ready for further treatment. For example, dental implants can be placed into your new bone with a better chance of long-lasting stability. If you’re interested in removable dentures, you can also benefit from bone grafting procedures to ensure your dentures have a solid foundation to rest on for improved comfort. Overall, bone health is a priority for all individuals looking for durable dental restorations that last a lifetime.