Bone Grafts

Dr. Jones takes every measure to ensure that your dental implants give you a lifetime of confidence in the function and aesthetics of your teeth. Sometimes due to trauma, pathology or length of time since an extraction, the area for a desired implant does not have adequate bone. In this case, he may need to do a procedure to replace the lost bone and create a stable foundation in the jaw. Doing so prepares the area for the optimal implant position.

The success of a restoration procedure can hinge on the height, depth and width of the jawbone at the implant site. Bone grafts assure that of all three of these elements are adequate in your particular case.

What Affects the Volume and Stability of the Jaw?

Periodontal Disease: Periodontal disease can permanently damage the jawbone and compromise support for 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 3 years.
Injuries and Infections: Various physical injuries and trauma to the jaw can cause the bone to recede. Infections can also cause the jawbone to recede in a similar way.

What are the Reasons for Bone Grafting?

Dr. Jones is highly experienced in bone grafting. The procedure can increase the height or width of the jawbone and fill in voids to prepare the bone for dental restorations. Bone grafting positively impacts the health and stability of the teeth in two ways.

Stabilization: Bone grafting stabilizes and helps restore the jaw foundation for restorative or implant surgery. Deformities can also be corrected and the restructuring of the bone can provide added support.
Preservation (socket augmentation): Bone grafting can be used to limit or prevent bone recession following a tooth extraction, periodontal disease or other invasive processes.

What is the First Step?

Initially, Dr. Jones will conduct a thorough examination of the affected area to assess the general condition of your teeth and gums. This exam includes a panoramic x-ray to determine the precise depth and width of the existing bone. On occasion, a CAT scan may be recommended to determine the bone volume and condition. Dr. Jones will then determine the best type of graft for your unique condition.

What Does Bone Grafting Involve?

Based on the results of your exam, your graft will be one of the following types:

Autogenous Bone Graft: This graft is preferred because it uses bone harvested from your own body, usually from the back section of the lower jaw or the chin. This method produces the most predictable results.
Allograft Bone Graft: This graft uses synthetic bone or cadaver bone.

During the surgery, a small incision is made to prepare the site for the new bone, which is then anchored into place. Occasionally, a synthetic membrane may be used to cover the new bone to prevent soft tissue and bacterial invasions. This protection encourages new bone growth.

The bone grafting process can often take several months to complete. After the bone is grafted to the affected site, it combines with the existing bone. Cells migrate and grow, causing a firm adhesion.

The surgery can be comfortably performed under I.V. sedation in our office surgery center on an outpatient basis.  We will prescribe medications to help manage discomfort, swelling and infection. Of course, we are available for ongoing support for any of your questions or concerns, as well.