Dental bone grafting procedures are performed to restore your bone to its previous form following tooth loss, gum disease or trauma. Bone loss to the jaw is one of the most serious consequences of missing teeth. It begins as soon as a tooth is lost. Dentists can perform bone grafting procedures with materials that stimulate new bone growth at the missing tooth site. If replaced immediately after a tooth extraction, grafting can prevent excessive bone loss and allow for future implants to be placed.
Progressive bone loss can:
- Decrease gum tissue
- Alter facial appearance
- Limit choices of tooth replacement
- Harm your oral health
Bone grafts may derive from:
- The patient
- Another human being
- Synthetic materials
- An animal
The graft itself acts more as a platform for nearby bone to grow upon; the new bone growth will eventually replace the graft material. The particular grafting approach and procedure will depend on the location in the mouth, the degree of bone loss, and whether the grafting takes place immediately after removing a tooth (extraction) or if some time has passed since tooth loss.
Immediate Grafting With Tooth Extraction:
- Dentist will fill the site with bone grafting materials
- Will limit bone loss during bone healing
- Facilitates future dental implant procedure
In certain cases involving the upper jaw, where bone is insufficient vertically, a surgeon may also utilize the sinus cavity just above it as a grafting site. Procedures are usually performed under local anesthesia.
After grafting procedure, patients may experience mild discomfort for a few days, usually managed by anti-inflammatory, non-steroidal medications like ibuprofen. As a precaution against infection, an antibiotic may also be prescribed.
Bone grafting technology and its continuing advancement can truly create new opportunities for better mouth function and a more attractive smile!