Bone Grafts

Dentist in Warren, NJ

Bone Grafts

Bone loss in the jaws and around the teeth can be the result of missing teeth, periodontal disease,  or trauma. This bone loss is more than a detriment to oral health and  function; it can also alter facial appearance as the support for the  natural contours of the face is diminished.

When a tooth is extracted,  the natural stimulation to the underlying bone that is generated by the  forces of biting or chewing is lost. In fact, bone width can be reduced  by as much as 25% in the first year following tooth loss.

With grafting  procedures, the dental bone can be restored to its original dimensions  to maintain facial esthetics, repair the damage caused by periodontal disease as well as facilitate the success of procedures such as the placement of dental implants.  A bone graft provides a platform or “scaffolding” for new bone growth  and the material for a bone graft can be derived from the patient, other  donor sources or be comprised of synthetic, bone-like materials.

What are the different types of bone graft procedures?

A bone graft can be placed immediately upon the extraction of a tooth or some time after tooth loss. Placing a bone graft at the time of  tooth removal reduces the amount of bone loss in the area to maintain  the hard tissue support that is required for the future placement of a dental implant. When a bone graft is placed awhile after tooth loss, a separate surgical procedure is required to reflect the soft tissue, expose the underlying bone, place a graft and then suture the soft tissue back into place.

For patients lacking a sufficient amount of bone for a dental implant to replace a maxillary back tooth (upper back tooth), a procedure known  as a “sinus lift” may be performed. During this surgical procedure, the  sinus membrane is lifted and bone graft material is added between the  jaw and the floor of the sinus to provide the needed bone height to  successfully support a dental implant.

In addition  to bone grafting for purposes of ridge preservation or augmentation to  allow for dental implants, an aesthetic ridge augmentation procedure to  restore the natural contours of the bone is sometimes performed in  preparation for fixed bridgework to achieve a more cosmetically pleasing result.

To guide  tissue regeneration as well as protect the graft and promote healing,  special membranes and biologically active materials may be placed over  the grafting material.