What is a Bone Graft?
Bone grafting is a surgical procedure involving the placement of new bone or bone substitute into spaces left behind by broken bone or bone defects. In dentistry, bone grafts are mostly used for patients scheduled for implant treatment, who don’t have enough bone in the jaw for proper placement of dental implants.
Why You Might Need One
Dental bone grafting procedures are aimed at restoring the bone to its previous form before trauma, tooth loss, a localized infection, or gum disease. The surgery can also be used after a tooth extraction to maintain bone structure, or to prepare a site for dental implants – as mentioned before.
Bone in areas where there are missing teeth naturally shrinks or resorbs over time, in regards to both height and width. Consequently, new bone must be grafted to provide a secure site where implants can be placed.
Bone grafting may also be necessary to save teeth that have undergone bone loss due to gum disease, or for aesthetic purposes. In the latter case, the jaw and other facial bones are responsible for supporting the skin and muscle responsible for your outward cosmetic appearance. And without sufficient support of the underlying bone, one’s face may appear to be prematurely aged.
Where does the grafted bone come from?
In the past, the bone required for grafting had to be taken from another part of your body or jaw, requiring additional surgery. Today, there are a number of substitute grafting materials that can be used in place of your own bone, with the most common one being Puros Allografts. During the healing process, the graft material acts as a scaffold, so your own new bone gradually replaces it.
Bone Grafting - What to Expect
Prior to a bone grafting procedure, you doctor should go over any pre-operative instructions to be followed, as well as any specific details about the surgery. The following general steps are usually included:
- Application of a local anesthetic to the grafting site
- The surgeon makes an opening over the bone defects
- The grafting material is gently placed within the grafting site - alongside the existing bone - and stabilized with a protective coating.
- The area is sutured - the stitches should dissolve in 7-10 days, but they can also be removed by your doctor.
- Give yourself about 3 - 6 months for healing
Contact Our Dentists for More Information on Bone Grafting
Like any other surgery, there are risks involved with bone grafting, plus there is a preparation process before the actual procedure. So, it is necessary that you talk to your dentist about the necessary tests, risks, and possible alternatives. We can help you find out more about bone grating, including costs, by contacting our office at 512-872-3658.