It might sound like a scary procedure when a dentist suggests that you need a dental bone graft. But this treatment is actually a relatively minor procedure and used more often than you realized. Bone grafts are often used with other dental procedures, such as the placement of an implant in an area where the jawbone has weakened.
When is Bone Grafting Recommended?
Bone grafting is a procedure recommended when a patient doesn’t have enough bone structure to support the placement of dental implants. The body makes new bone cells regularly, but the production of these cells can decrease over time. Eventually, you might not have enough bone in your jaw to provide the strong foundation your teeth need to stay in place. If this is the case, then it’s likely that you can benefit from a bone graft.
Common causes of bone density loss include:
- Gum disease – chronic infection and inflammation in the gums
- After tooth extraction – in the empty space where teeth were removed
- Before the placement of dental implants
- Trauma or injury to the mouth or facial areas
- Developmental defects
Dental Bone Grafts: How They Work
This surgical procedure can be an effective way to rebuild or repair bone. It works by using a transplant of bone tissue in the area of bone loss. Then, the body uses the tissue to generate new cells and recreate the bone in that location.
During the procedure, a small piece of bone is removed from another part of your jaw or body. Or, artificial bone can be placed. Other bone graft tissues can be sourced from an animal, such as a cow. Another option is to place a bone graft from synthetic material made of phosphorous, calcium, and hydroxylapatite.
The most common type of bone graft is called a “socket graft.” This procedure helps to prevent the collapse of the socket and maintains the structure for the placement of an implant. Once the socket graft is complete, you will need to wait for 4 – 6 months before the implant can be placed.
Bone Loss Prevention
Once your bone graft is complete, it’s important to follow the recommendations during recovery. Additionally, you should be proactive about preventing gum disease to avoid bone loss in the future:
- Brush your teeth twice a day using a fluoride toothpaste. Pay close attention to clean gently around the gum lines.
- Floss between your teeth at least once a day.
- Visit your dentist regularly for checkups.
If you have early signs of gum disease, then you need to visit the office for maintenance care, treatments, and prevention.
Ongoing Dental Care for the Whole Family
Following these tips can help you maintain your dental health so you can keep your natural teeth as long as possible. Our experienced team at myDental, is here to provide the ongoing support you need for protecting your smile. Call today if you have questions about available dental services. You can book an exam at one of our nearby locations.