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Bone Grafting

Bone grafting is a procedure used to augment spaces left by tooth extraction, bone resorption (melting), or advanced periodontal disease. In a bone graft procedure, a bit of bone is implanted into a tooth socket or the jaw to provide a stable base for implants or a full mouth restoration appliance. The idea is to shore up the matrix of the jaw or tooth socket so that there will be less risk of complications after the implant or appliance is fixed.

While many people think of bone as an inert material, it actually grows much like the rest of the human body. It contains nerves, blood vessels, and is capable of healing itself. In the case of bone grafting, the graft will ideally be integrated into the matrix of the existing bone, providing greater structural stability and preventing the shifting of neighboring teeth while allowing for the implantation of an artificial root as the basis for a new implant to restore full function and aesthetic appearance to the area.

Because bone grafting is a surgical procedure, it is subject to preoperative and postoperative directions designed to minimize sensitivity and discomfort, as well as speeding the healing process and ensuring the implant is accepted as readily as possible. Certain conditions and risk factors may render bone grafting an undesirable option, and a comprehensive oral examination and radiographic examination will be required to determine if bone grafting is an appropriate solution for your particular needs. Our periodontal staff will analyze the results of the examinations and the X-rays and help you determine which possible solutions are best suited to your condition.

Bone grafting is not an end in itself, but a means to restoring the appearance, stability, and functionality of your jaw and teeth. For this reason, many people ask if this portion of the restoration process can be omitted. However, to ensure that the implants and appliances are properly supported by the surrounding teeth, gums, and bone, the answer is typically “No.” Without the bone grafting procedure, the implant roots have nowhere to go and the jaw could be significantly weakened when the implant root is placed. In addition, if the neighboring teeth shift to fill the gap left by an extraction, this could mean still more periodontal corrective surgery and unnecessary delays in the restoration of your mouth to full, healthy function.

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