Bone Grafting

Bone Grafting

Our commonly held perception of bones as rigid and immutable components in our bodies is inaccurate; in reality, our bones are in a constant state of transformation known as remodeling. This process involves the replacement of old bone with newer, stronger bone, as well as the deposition of fresh bone cells while recycling the old ones. Occasionally, this remodeling process can weaken or damage bones, particularly those supporting our teeth. Factors such as entering adulthood, encountering illness, or facing diseases may contribute to tooth loss, often accompanied by resorption, where the surrounding bone is reabsorbed into the body. As we lose teeth and the associated bone structure, facial features may experience sagging.

Fortunately, modern medicine has developed interventions to address bone loss through procedures like bone grafting. Despite sounding like a complex surgical undertaking, bone grafting can be performed in most dental offices. The procedure typically involves making a small incision in the gums and introducing grafting material to the bones. This material, comprised of minerals, stimulates the body to generate new bone, eventually prompting the natural deposition and building of bone. The grafting material is available in various forms, such as powder, granules, or a gel that can be administered through a syringe. This material may be derived from animals, humans, or even the individual undergoing the procedure processed in a laboratory to ensure cleanliness and sterility. Following the placement of the bone graft, it is often covered with a thin membrane that serves as a scaffold for the new bone to form.

Bone grafts find utility in various dental scenarios, including:

  • Teeth Preservation: Many tooth losses in dental patients are attributed to periodontal disease. As the supporting bone weakens and teeth become unstable, dentists may recommend a bone graft to salvage and reinforce the teeth.
  • Post-Tooth Extraction: An empty socket is left behind upon removing an adult tooth. Bone grafts play a role in filling this void and fortifying the jaw. Additionally, they contribute to preventing the body from resorb the surrounding bone.
  • Dental Implants: Placing dental implants involves inserting a small titanium post into the jawbone. This process can be challenging in cases where the underlying bone is already compromised. A bone graft strengthens the jawbone, facilitating the secure placement of the post and the associated dental implant.

Although the bone grafting procedure is relatively minor, it necessitates a small incision for graft placement. Whenever incisions are made, there is a potential risk of infection, underscoring the importance of allowing adequate time for healing. During the bone graft procedure, your dentist will administer local anesthesia to numb the specific area undergoing treatment. Given the nature of the process, mild soreness is common, along with possible swelling and redness at the incision site. Over-the-counter pain medication is typically sufficient for managing these symptoms, and any discomfort is expected to subside within a few days.

Individuals dealing with periodontal disease or other dental complications may encounter added complexity due to bone loss. Fortunately, bone grafting is an accessible procedure capable of restoring jawbone structure, enhancing appearance, and yielding improved dental results. If you believe bone grafting could benefit you, kindly contact us to arrange a consultation at your earliest convenience.