What is Bone Grafting?
A bone graft is a specialized procedure, done in our office, that builds up bone tissue in areas that need it. Simply described, it is the repair or rebuild of the jawbone through transplantation of bone tissue. It is a common procedure that is painless and predictable.
Bone grafts use a natural bone material from either human or animal sources. Bone is placed where bone is lacking.
When is a bone graft necessary?
Bone grafting is required when there is not enough healthy natural bone capable of supporting the dental implants or when significant bone infection is present.
This commonly caused by:
- Empty socket space after a tooth was removed
- Development defects
- Gum disease
- Face injury or trauma
How does tooth loss cause bone loss?
Alveolar Jawbone has one job – supporting and holding your teeth. When one or more teeth are missing, bone shrinks due to lack of stimulation. Over time, the bone is remodeled and continues to lose mass.
Side note: dental implants placed into the jaw (even grafted jawbone) maintain the bone structure and stimulate bone health.
How does it work?
There are several types of bone graft. The type you will need depends on the extent of the bone damage you’ve suffered, as well as the location of the lost bone.
Most commonly, we use a socket graft. A socket graft usually occurs after an extraction. The primary purpose is to prevent the atrophy of the bone walls before it can occur.
Bone from a human donor is placed directly into the socket. The bone is typically freeze-dried and sterilized, containing no living cells.
After a socket graft, you’ll typically be ready for your implant in 4-6 months.
Are bone grafts painful?
In short, no. We do them in our office every day. They are an outpatient procedure, and patients typically feel quite comfortable throughout the entire process. You shouldn’t feel any pain as the graft heals.
Do I need a bone graft before getting dental implants?
Not every patient needs bone grafting for their implant procedure. One quick scan in our office with our 3D CBCT will allow us to analyze the jawbone and tell you what options are best for you.