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Bone grafting 101

A smiling older woman in a yellow floral shirt

In this post, we will explain what a bone graft is and how it works. We will also share some interesting facts about this procedure.

An innovative fix for deteriorated bone

When you are missing one or more teeth, the jawbone under the gap can slowly loses bone density and volume over time. This happens because the roots of your teeth stimulate the bone to grow new tissue when you chew. Since there are no roots to send the signal, your jawbone doesn’t get the message. Left untreated, the bone can become too weak to support a dental implant.

Setting your body up to heal itself

The way a bone graft works is relatively simple. Your oral surgeon will place natural bone tissue from another part of your body (or alternative materials) into the hole beneath your missing tooth. This involves lifting the gum tissue prior to grafting and then suturing the wound closed once the bone graft is in place.

Your body uses your new bone graft as a guide for growing new bone. Over the course of a few months, the material in the graft will slowly be replaced with new bone tissue that your body has grown as part of its natural regeneration process. When complete, what is left is a larger, healthier jawbone made 100% out of your own bone.

Bone grafts come in different sizes

The size of your bone graft will vary, depending on a wide range of factors including your level of bone loss, overall oral health condition and the natural size and shape of your jawbone. In most cases, a bone graft is performed several months before dental implant placement.

Bone graft material options

Using tissue from the patient is the preferred choice for bone grafting as this decreases the risk of your body rejecting the graft. Synthetic material is also available.

Bone grafting for dental implant success

Bone grafting is an important procedure that helps patients who would not otherwise be able to get dental implants. If you have been missing one or more teeth for a long time, a bone graft could be the perfect solution to start you on your way to a brand-new smile.