Bone Grafting

The process of bone grafting is frequently used for dental restorations. Some great examples are dental implants. It’s quite common for the success of restoration procedures to depend on the width, depth and height of the jawbone in the area where the implant is to be installed.

If the jawbone has sustained major damage or receded, it’s very unlikely that the bone will support one or more implants. To ensure the success of the restoration, bone grafting is the only solution.

Factors That Affect the Volume of Jaw Bone

Periodontal disease can have a major impact on jaw bone volume. Gum disease has been known to permanently damage the jaw bone, and the bone is the foundation that supports the teeth. Areas of the bone that are affected get progressively worse, and eventually, the teeth that are supported by the bone become unstable.

Tooth extraction is another factor that affects jaw bone volume. According to studies, patients lose jaw bone volume around the extraction site, and the volume loss occurs during the three years following the extraction. The bone loss is referred to as a bone defect.

Some other factors that affect jaw bone volume are infections and injuries. A major blow to the jaw can cause the bone to recede. Both physical and dental injuries can also have the same effect. There are even studies that show infections can cause receding of the jaw bone.

Oral Examination

To assess the overall condition of the gums and teeth, the doctor will thoroughly examine the affected areas. If the teeth adjacent to the area are in poor condition, the problem must be addressed. Periodontal disease must also be addressed.

The bone grafting procedure cannot begin until these issues have been addressed. It’s very likely that the doctor will order panoramic x-rays to measure the width and depth of existing bone. To determine the condition of the bone, the doctor might even order a CAT scan.

How Does Bone Grafting Work?

Bone grafts can be obtained from a number of different sources. An autogenous bone graft is used to harvest bone from the patient’s body. In this situation, the bone might be removed from the chin or lower jaw. An allograft bone graft involves the use of synthetic bone or cadaver.

A xenograft involves the use of cow bone. After a successful bone grafting procedure, the body can take up to six months to heal. In most cases, the bone is taken from the patient’s body.

However, it might also be taken from a bone bank. The transplanted bone must fuse with the existing bone, and once the process is complete, there will be enough bone mass to anchor implants.

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