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 implant site. When the jawbone has receded or sustained significant damage, the implant(s) 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 in most cases. Bone grafting increases the height or width of the jawbone and fill in voids and defects in the bone. Bone grafting at the time of extraction can also prevent dry sockets and speed up the healing process.
There are essentially two basic ways in which bone grafting can positively impact the health and stability of the teeth:
Initially, the dentist will thoroughly examine the affected area in order to assess the general condition of the teeth and gums. 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. The dentist may also recommend a CBCT radiograph in order to assess the precise depth and width of the existing bone. Depending on these results, the dentist may also anesthetize the area and explore into the gum in order to determine what kind and how much bone is required.
If you have any questions or concerns about bone grafting, please contact our office.