Bone Grafting is a surgical method of repairing bone by using small transplants to restore strength and function to a bone.  In Dentistry, this process is commonly used to reinforce areas of the upper and lower jaw that have been weakened due to tooth loss or extraction.

Bone Grafting Importance

Most people understand the importance of teeth in daily activities like the ability to eat, smile and talk. Few actually understand the critical role they play in providing form and structure to the face and mouth.

When a tooth is lost, the result is an empty space in the bone known as a socket.  Without the support of the tooth, the socket becomes weak. Left alone it will recede and eventually collapse causing a sunken appearance to the jaw and face.  Studies show bone loss following tooth extraction can exceed 50% of the surrounding area within the first three years.

Bone Grafting - Added Support of StructureNeglect of the tooth socket also provides a space for bacterial growth and gum disease as well.  After tooth loss, the resulting hole or socket acts a direct channel for germs and bacteria to attack the soft tissues and bone of the mouth.  This penetration leads to further degeneration, disease and dental health complications.

Bone Grafting Benefits

Bone grafting impacts the stability and health of the teeth in two positive ways. First, it promotes bone regeneration, at the same time preventing bone recession caused as a result of tooth extraction or periodontal disease.  Bone grafting also stabilizes and restores jaw structure; so that it may function as support for implant surgery.

Bone Regeneration From Bone Grafting

Bone Grafting works as a result of the bone’s natural ability to regenerate itself, when it is provided the proper space and structure.  When enough good bone tissue is present, the body’s process of osteogenesis creates new bone growth.  This process occurs through several mechanisms.

Bone Grafting Video Education

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First, proper bone grafting must provide the structure for this growth.  The bone graft serves an osteoconductive function, which could be thought of as a framework for the regeneration of bone tissue.  This bone graft serves as scaffolding to perpetuate growth of the natural bone.  It provides the structure for the bone cells to migrate down and attach to while they divide and grow. This framework for new bone growth is critical to restoring the extraction site.

The bone graft also functions in osteoinduction.  This is the trigger that stimulates the formation of new osteoblasts, or bone growth.  When induced, bone tissue possesses the unique ability to regenerate naturally.  This stimulation is critical for the development of new bone cells. Without the introduction of the bone graft, this process cannot occur and leads to further degenerative conditions of the bone.

Implant Stability Through Bone Grafting

Dental implants require the proper bone structure and strength to support their ability to function. Without adequate bone on which to attach, the implant will not be anchored firmly. The bone grafting process functions to preserve the jaw ridge so that implantation is done to a solid base.

Bone grafting is the most important tool dentists use to support ridge preservation for the placement of dental implants.  Bone grafting can increase both the height and width of the jaw bone ridge producing a strong form to support implants.  Existing bone can be built up through bone grafting making placement of implants possible on patients who otherwise would not be eligible for the restoration.

Bone Grafting Examination

Oral health must be examined prior to determining if bone grafting will be an option.  The affected site must be free from disease and surrounding teeth in good condition before the procedure can be attempted. If these areas are of concern, they should be addressed prior to bone grafting.

Examination to determine the extent of bone loss will also be conducted. This typically involves panoramic X-rays with 3D capabilities, which can show the precise width and depth of the remaining bone.  Physical examination of the area may also be needed to show the exact demands of each patient.

The dental professionals at Dr Ueckert’s office are knowledgeable and experienced when it comes to bone grafting procedures.  For the correct patient, this method of mouth restoration can produce great results.  If you believe you could benefit from bone grafting, call our office today to schedule your free consultation.