What is Bone Grafting and Why Do You Need it?

Bone grafting is a surgical procedure that helps rebuild lost jawbone tissue. Some patients find out that because of their missing tooth or teeth that have either fallen out or been extracted, they’ve lost jawbone. Known as bone resorption, this condition can seriously affect not only your oral health but your facial appearance. In fact, the loss of jawbone is known to:

  • Make it impossible to place dental implants until the loss of jawbone has been surgically addressed
  • Cause misalignment, looseness, and even the loss of adjacent teeth
  • Collapse your facial profile
  • Provide you with limited lip support
  • Cause skin wrinkling around your mouth
  • Distort other facial features
  • Lead to TMJ pain, facial pain, and headaches
  • Make it difficult to speak
  • Making chewing food difficult and painful, sometimes so much so that you may become improperly nourished
  • Cause your sinus cavity to expand

If you’ve had a missing tooth for a significant amount of time, your jawbone could resorb. As a result, you may not be able to get dental implants even if you want to, because there wouldn’t be enough bone there to place the implant. Plus, having your tooth missing for so long could have caused your other teeth to shift, which could result in your facial structure being altered.

The process of bone grafting allows us to grow bone where it’s needed to place dental implants properly. Dr. Bryce Williams enjoys the process of bone grafting because most patients who need it thought they would never be able to have the functionality and the aesthetic appearance of their teeth restored. Bone grafting is the only way that some dental operations are possible.

While tooth loss or extraction is a common cause of jawbone resorption, there are other culprits, too. These include facial trauma, tooth misalignment, osteomyelitis, tumors, developmental deficiencies, and sinus deficiencies.

Bone grafting helps to “rebuild” the lost jawbone, which restores your oral health and facial appearance, and allows dental implants to be placed.

Types of Bone Grafts

Patients have a variety of choices when choosing the material for your surgery:

  • Autogenous Bone Grafts

Known as an autograft, this bone graft option takes donor bone from your own body, such as from your hip, jaw, chin, lower leg bone or skull. Using your own bone reduces the risk your body will reject the bone graft. Another option to reduce rejection is to use platelet rich plasma (PRP) which mixes your own blood with “bottle bone” from human donor tissue for your surgery.

  • Allogenic Bone

Known as Allograft, this option uses cadaver bones. While it cannot grow itself, it serves as a structure for your own jawbone to grow over.

  • Xenogenic Bone

This product is just like Allogenic bone, except it’s taken from a different non-living species, usually a cow. Just like with Allogenic bone, Xenogenic bone is specially treated prior to surgery to significantly reduce the risk your body will reject it.

Bone Graft Substitutes

Sometimes different bone graft options need to be used. Patients who need a bone graft substitute can choose from:

  • Demineralized Bone Matrix (DBM)/Demineralized Freeze-Dried Bone Allograft (DFDBA)

Available as a powder, putty, chips, or gel that can be injected through a syringe, this substance is actually processed allograft bone that is mixed with extracted collagen, proteins, and growth factors.

  • Graft Composites

This alternative combines other bone graft substances with growth factors 

  • Bone Morphogenetic Proteins

These naturally-produced proteins regulate bone formation and healing

Additional Bone Grafting Surgeries

In some cases, patients need a bone graft for reasons other than those listed above. Some additional surgeries that involve bone grafting include: 

  • Ridge Augmentation

This surgical procedure is performed immediately after a tooth extraction to recreate the natural contour of the gums and jaw, which may have been affected because of the extraction. 

  • Sinus Lift

This surgery is necessary to encourage bone growth in the maxillary sinus, which holds the tooth roots for your upper jaw teeth. It’s sometimes a required pre-surgery for those patients desiring dental implants.

  • Socket Preservation

Sometimes, socket preservation is required immediately after tooth extraction. This surgery fixes damaged tooth sockets (the jawbone portion that held your tooth in place) so that a dental implant can be placed.

Main Reasons People Have Jawbone Loss

One of the major reasons that patients have bone grafting procedures is to repair jaw defects. There are many reasons why jawbone loss can occur, including a previous surgery (like a tooth extraction), a traumatic injury at any point in your life, or congenital disabilities. The bone is replaced by taking bone from other areas of your own body, or by using donor bone.

Patients who wait too long to replace their teeth or fix their jawbone problems could have more serious issues later on. However, even those potentially serious problems can be alleviated with bone grafting conducted by Dr. Williams.

Jawbone Loss Creates Significant Problems

You may be wondering why bone loss is a big deal. Many people think that if they aren’t experiencing any significant issues, then jawbone loss is not a problem. While losing some of your jawbone may not have immediate effects, the long-term effects could be substantial.

Jawbone loss dramatically alters your appearance. When your jaw is misaligned, your teeth will be as well. Your facial structure could look abnormal; you may have problems chewing and other similar issues. Dr. Williams uses bone grafting to replace the missing bone and set his patients on the road to recovery. Generally, the procedure is completed in the office, and the recovery takes a few days for the discomfort and swelling to subside. If you need a more extensive bone graft for a very large jaw defect, Dr. Williams can take you to the operating room to perform this procedure.

Think About Results Instead of the Process

Dr. Williams has a strong background in dentistry, but he’s also very focused on attaining the best surgical results. Because of this, he always operates with the final outcome in mind. If you have abnormal facial features as a result of jawbone loss, think about what you want to look like before you even have the bone grafting procedure. Dr. Williams helps his patients to visualize their appearance after their facial features are corrected in comparison to their current features.

Thinking about the results will help you get through the bone grafting process much easier. And on top of that, Dr. Williams makes the procedure as easy as possible from a mental standpoint. From the time you walk through our office doors, you’ll feel confident and comfortable that bone grafting is going to work for you in many ways.

Why You Should Choose Dr. Williams

Bone grafting may sound frightening when you think about it initially, but Dr. Williams knows exactly what to do to calm your nerves. He has a considerable amount of experience performing bone grafting and always has your best interests in mind. No matter what your fears are about coming into our office, Dr. Williams will alleviate them from the moment you walk in the door.

At Williams Dental Implant and Oral Surgery, our team works together to ensure you are comfortable with us before we perform any procedure. Bone grafting can change your life by making your mouth more comfortable and giving you a terrific boost of confidence by improving the appearance of your facial structure.

Schedule your consultation with Dr. Williams today to learn more about bone grafting by calling or texting (303) 493-1933.