What is Bone Grafting and Why You Need it?
Bone grafting is a surgical procedure that helps rebuild lost jawbone tissue. Some residents 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” lost jawbone, which restores your oral health, 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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
Sometimes, socket preservation is required immediately after a 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.