What is Bone Grafting?
Bone grafting is the process of taking substitute bone to repair and prevent bone loss. The substitute bone grows and fuses with the bone already present at the site to strengthen it and provide greater structural durability. In oral health, bone grafting is generally used to repair jaw bone loss that can result from missing, broken, or damaged teeth, infections, and trauma.
How does a Bone Graft Work?
Bone grafting works by taking grafting material and placing it into the tooth socket in order to grow new bone cells and prevent bone loss. In situations where bone loss has already begun, bone grafting may be able to reverse it and open options for tooth replacement. There are a number of different bone substitutes that could be used, including:
- Autogenous Bone Grafts – Grafts that come from the patient’s own body
- Allografts – Grafts that are provided by a human donor other than the patient
- Alloplasts – Grafts made from synthetic material
- Xenografts – Grafts made from the natural material of another species
Each bone substitute has its own attributes and some substitutes will work better than others for different patients. It is important to consult with a qualified periodontal specialist in order to determine the best bone substitute for each patient.
What are the benefits of Bone Grafting?
Bone grafting provides a number of cosmetic and health benefits.
Cosmetic Benefits of Bone Grafting
- Prevent alteration of the shape of the face and mouth
- Restore face and mouth shape after damage
- Preserve or restore natural speech patterns
Health Benefits of Bone Grafting
- Prevent infection from bone deterioration
- Enable broader diet for better nutrition
- Prevent further tooth loss
- Alleviate pain and sensitivity
- Strengthen bone
Bone grafting may be needed if a patient wishes to replace missing teeth. Many tooth replacement options require the jaw bone to be strong enough to support the treatment, and bone grafting may be necessary to proceed. Therefore, patients who are interested in replacing missing teeth should be sure they are familiar with bone grafting.
Should I Get Bone Grafting?
If you have missing teeth, bone loss, ongoing bone deterioration, or are going to have teeth extracted soon, then you may be a candidate for bone grafting. Bone grafting can provide the support that a patient needs in order to proceed with other dental procedures such as tooth replacement and cosmetic dentistry. If you are considering bone grafting it is important to talk to a qualified health professional to determine the best path forward. Dr. Kathleen A. Stambaugh is a periodontal and implantology specialist in Burlington, WA. Her practice specializes in the treatment of gum disease including cosmetic procedures to aesthetically enhance your smile, and replace missing teeth using dental implant technology. She also diagnoses and treats oral pathology.
With over 55 years of research and practice, Pericowest Periodontics provides cutting edge implant and periodontal disease services and treatments. Kathleen A. Stambaugh’s office is nestled in the city of Burlington, surrounded by farm fields and foothills, providing a calm and serene place of practice that is reflected in the patients’ treatment experience.