Bone grafting is often closely associated with dental restorations such as bridge work and dental implants. In the majority of cases, the success of a restoration procedure can hinge on the height, depth, and width of the jawbone at the restorative site. When the jawbone has receded or sustained significant damage, the restoration cannot be supported on this unstable foundation and bone grafting is usually recommended for the ensuing restoration.
There are several major factors that affect jaw bone volume:
Periodontal Disease – Periodontal disease can affect and permanently damage the jaw bone that supports the teeth. Affected areas progressively worsen until the teeth become unstable.
Tooth Extraction – Studies have shown that patients who have experienced a tooth extraction subsequently lose 40-60% of the bone surrounding the extraction site during the following three years. Loss of bone results in what is called a “bone defect”.
Injuries and Infections – Dental injuries and other physical injuries resulting from a blow to the jaw can cause the bone to recede. Infections can also cause the jaw bone to recede in a similar way.
Reasons for bone grafts
Bone grafting is a highly successful procedure. It is also a preferable alternative to having missing teeth, diseased teeth, or bone defects. Bone grafting can increase the height or width of the jawbone and fill in voids and defects in the bone.
There are essentially two basic ways in which bone grafting can positively impact the health and stability of the teeth:
Jaw Stabilization – Bone grafting stabilizes and helps restore the jaw foundation for restorative or implant surgery. Deformities can also be corrected and the restructuring of the bone can provide added support.
Preservation – Bone grafting can be used to limit or prevent bone recession following periodontal disease, a tooth extraction or other invasive processes.
Initially, the general condition of the teeth and gums of the affected area will be assessed. If periodontal disease is present or the adjacent teeth are in poor condition, these factors will be fully addressed before the bone grafting procedure can begin. Other images may be needed , suchas a panoramic x-ray and a CAT scan to further assess the dimensions and the quality of the existing bone.
What Does Bone Grafting Involve?
There are several types of bone grafts. Your dentist will determine the best type for your particular condition.
Autogenous Bone Graft - taken from patient’s own body (usually from the posterior part of the lower jaw or the chin). This method is usually preferred because it produces the most predictable results.
Allograft Bone Graft - donaone from ther person.
Xenograft Bone Graft - different species, suchas cow or pig.
Alloplast Bone Graft - synthetic or artificial bone.
Once the area of the jaw is grafted, it may take four to six months for your bone to replace the graft.
Supplementing the jaw with bone will result in greater bone mass to help support and anchor the implant(s) and improve the appearance of the gum at the restoration interface.
At the time of grafting, the area will be numb using local anesthetic. The graft will be placed and on occasion, a synthetic membrane may be used to cover the graft. This membrane prevents soft tissue and bacterial invasions, and encourages new bone growth. You will be provided with comprehensive instructions for your post-operative care. Medications to help manage infection, discomfort and swelling will be prescribed if needed.