Bone Graft

What is a Dental Bone Graft?

A bone graft involves taking bone tissue from a donor or from elsewhere in the body to repair another area. Typically, the graft site is a location where the patient needs to replace the missing bone.

In dentistry, patients often use bone grafts to strengthen an area of their jaw.

Dental bone grafts are extremely important because patients cannot receive dental implants without solid bone support.  Often, patients may receive a bone graft after having a tooth removed to prevent the jaw from shrinking or atrophying.

Let’s learn more about the causes of bone loss and the grafting process.

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What Causes Bone Loss in the Jaw?

Tooth loss is a major factor that affects the size, shape, and density of the jawbone.  When a tooth is removed, the surrounding bone erodes if it is not replaced by a dental implant. Teeth stimulate their surrounding bone, ensuring the body maintains the bone at a healthy level,  Without a tooth or implant, the body stops maintaining the bone in that area.

It may only take a few years for much of the bone around a missing tooth to shrink. Once this happens, there will not be enough bone left to anchor a new dental implant.

Tooth loss results in bone loss and is a common reason to consider a bone graft. However, many other issues may reduce the size and density of the jaw, including:

  • Systemic disease
  • Cysts and tumors
  • Trauma
  • Infection
  • Periodontal disease

What Happens During a Bone Graft?

As mentioned earlier, a graft provides additional bone to a deficient area of the jaw.

To see if a graft is needed, your dentist will need to take x-rays and possibly a CBCT scan to assess the quality and quantity of the bone.

Animal (cow) and synthetic bone are all used in grafts. Patients may also receive human bone from a cadaver which is thoroughly sterilized and deemed completely safe prior to use. Furthermore, bone can also be taken from one area of the patient’s mouth or body to be used in another area of the mouth.  Your dentist will decide which option is most appropriate.

The graft procedure is an outpatient procedure performed using a local anesthetic. Afterward, follow your dentist’s instructions about post-op care to protect the graft site from infection and to manage any swelling and/or discomfort.

After the bone graft fully integrates (4-6 months), the patient can then undergo follow-up procedures like dental implants.

Considering a Bone Graft? Contact McDonogh Dental Associates Today!

The experienced team at McDonogh Dental Associates provides top-notch dental services to our neighbors in Owings Mills, MD. Before beginning any treatment, we make sure our patients know what to expect and why it’s needed.

If you have questions about bone grafts, dental implants, or other services, please contact us today to arrange an appointment.