Bone grafting is needed when the jawbone has deteriorated to the point where it can no longer support existing or replacement teeth.
Your teeth depend on the integrity of the jawbone to keep from shifting when you bite or chew. The jawbone holds the roots of teeth in place. When a tooth is lost, the bone, which no longer serves the function of holding the root, begins to slowly erode until it creates a hollow cavity in your jawline. Once significant bone loss has occurred, our team will need to perform a bone graft before any replacement teeth can be placed – and before deterioration causes damage to neighboring teeth.
The procedure for bone grafting involves filling the area the missing tooth or teeth used to occupy with bone graft granules. These granules look similar to sand and often times can be made from your own available bone, or a mineral bone substitute. We will then close up the area with sutures. Over time the grafted material will integrate with the surrounding bone tissue and restore the area to its normal bone capacity.
It is not unusual for patients to be informed at some point that he or she may require a “bone graft” in order to maximize the outcome of dental implant surgery. While this sounds pretty scary at first, the truth is that bone grafting in the oral cavity today is a routine, and painless procedure.