Benefits of Dental Bone Grafting
Bone loss is no joke. It can impede restoration, make surrounding teeth vulnerable to damage, and cause your cheeks to sink in.
A dental bone graft is the best treatment option for repairing bone loss and encouraging natural bone growth.
Bone grafts are used worldwide as part of the dental restoration process. Learn more about the different types of bone grafting and what the benefits are.
What is a Bone Graft?
A bone graft is a procedure where healthy bone tissue is transplanted to the area that suffered bone loss. Bone grafts can be used for just about any bone in the body, but we are specifically talking about dental bone grafts.
With a dental bone graft, bone or synthetic material replaces the degenerated parts of your jaw.
What Are the Benefits of Dental Bone Grafting?
Dental bone grafting is often an essential step in dental restoration. It has many benefits you can take advantage of depending on the state of your oral health.
Allows You to Receive a Dental Implant
Dental implants are a permanent tooth replacement option. They act as tooth roots and anchor the teeth to your jawbone. They can attach to dental crowns, bridges, or dentures.
However, a dentist cannot place them if you have bone loss where an implant needs to go. Bone grafting allows patients to receive healthy dental implants, restoring their natural smile and functionality.
Helps Prevent Further Bone Loss
A dental bone graft won’t do much by itself to prevent bone loss. However, it allows dentists to insert hardware, like dental implants, to prevent deterioration.
When you’re missing a tooth, the bone below the gap can degenerate quickly. This causes surrounding teeth to shift and sometimes fall out. By replacing the lost bone, and any missing teeth, your mouth will naturally start to heal itself.
When you’re missing one or more teeth, your lips and cheeks can sink. Bone grafting increases the aesthetics of your smile by making it possible for dental implants to be placed. After that, dental crowns can be installed to support your facial structure and restore your natural smile.
Why Would You Need a Dental Bone Graft?
Since the purpose of a bone graft is to replace bone, you usually need one if you are missing a tooth or bone or if your bone is too thin.
When a tooth is extracted or falls out, the jawbone immediately begins deteriorating and changing shape. Socket preservation combats this by using bone graft material to fill the cavity where the tooth’s root was.
Ridge augmentation is a bone graft with the goal of rebuilding your dental ridge. This helps the aesthetics of your mouth by making the jawbone a uniform shape and provides a stronger anchor point for an implant.
Sometimes your jawbone is too thin to be able to support a dental implant. Not only will this lead to a weak implant, but certain parts of the mouth are also very close to the sinus membrane. If your jawbone is too thin, the implant will go all the way through and can contact the membrane.
A sinus lift involves making a small hole in the bone and lifting the sinus membrane. A barrier is then built to protect it. After that, the grafting material is inserted into the new cavity to artificially thicken the bone.
Periodontal Bone Graft
Periodontal disease attacks the teeth, gums, and supporting bones. As a result, teeth can quickly lose their anchor and become loose. This is where periodontal bone grafts come in.
Periodontal bone grafts are placed around teeth that have become loose as a result of gum disease. It helps to prevent further loosening.
What Materials Are Used for a Bone Graft?
There are two main categories of materials used for dental bone grafts — synthetic and organic.
Synthetic Bone Grafts
Synthetic materials can be just as effective at replacing bone as the real thing. The most common material used in them is hydroxyapatite. It is a biocompatible chemical compound prevalent in natural bones.
Organic Bone Grafts
Organic bone grafts use a real piece of bone to replace what you have lost. As you may have guessed, there are only a handful of ways to obtain real bone. Because of this, there are only three types of organic bone grafts.
Autogenous - Autogenous grafts come from elsewhere in your body. Most of the time, the bone comes from your hip, chin, or leg.
Allograft - Allografts are someone else’s bone. The material is obtained from a donor bank and does not have to be a DNA match.
Xenograft - Xenografts also come from a donor bank, but the bone is from an animal, usually a pig or a cow. They are less common than they once were but still exist.
What is the Dental Bone Grafting Process?
Exam and X-rays - Before any dental procedures, an in-depth exam and x-rays are necessary. This allows the dentist to accurately plan the procedure and avoid surprises.
Incision - Your bone grafting process begins with the dentist making an incision in your gum to add the graft material.
Material Placement - Following the incision, the doctor will place the graft material into the area where bone loss has occurred.
Incision Closure - A piece of synthetic material is placed over the graft and your gum is stitched back together.
Healing - It can take anywhere from three months to a year for your bone graft to heal. Healing time depends on your body’s ability to heal itself, the type of implant you got, and the area where the graft was placed.
How Long Do Bone Grafts Take?
Dental bone grafts are typically done in one visit and take between 30 and 90 minutes. The time it takes is dependent upon prior work you may need, complications during the procedure, and the area receiving the graft.
Bone Grafting in Fremont, CA
If you are missing a tooth, you can benefit from a bone graft. The quicker you take action, the more damage you can prevent.
You can schedule an appointment at our Fremont office online or by calling us. Don’t wait!