Extraction and Bone Grafting
The term “bone grafting” may sound harrowing, but the procedure is nothing to be afraid of. Bone grafting procedures are performed when a patient is missing a tooth or multiple teeth. Your jaw bone is what holds your teeth in place. Basically, the roots of your teeth are attached to your jaw bone.
If a patient is missing a tooth they will require a replacement in the form of a bridge or dental implant which is where bone grafting comes in. If a dentist tries to place a bridge or implant in a spot where the natural bone and gum tissue is much lower than the surrounding areas, it will be inconsistent with the rest of the mouth.
Bone Graft Procedures
If you have lost a single tooth, a simple bone graft can ensure that you not lose excess bone height and width. Your dentist will remove the infected tooth and preserve the bone by packing sterile human bone granules resembling coarse sand into the tooth socket.
The granules are covered with a protective membrane and stitches are required to close the tooth socket. This is a relatively simple procedure that does not take much time to recover from.
If you have been missing teeth for an extended period of time there will typically be a higher rate of bone loss. If this is the case, a small incision will be made in the area of the missing tooth. Next, the bone granules will be used to build up the area. Many surgeons will use a little bit of the patient’s own bone from the wisdom tooth area to ensure the best possible results.
Finally, if your teeth have been missing for a very long time or if you have been using dentures, extensive bone grafting will be required. The patient’s bone can be provided by a separate part of jaw bone, hip or tibia in the form of a small block.
The block is then anchored in place using specialized bone screws. Extensive bone grafting requires months of recovery and regular follow up appointments with your dentist.