Bone Grafting

The jaw bone resorbs or atrophies over time after teeth are missing/removed. This can lead to deficiencies in bone quality and quantity. Patients with severe bone loss often are not candidates for dental implants. In the majority of cases, the success of implants depend on the height, depth, and width of the jawbone at the implant site. 

Drs. Bianco and Singh are trained in performing bone grafting procedures which can restore the height, width and depth of the jawbone for placement of dental implants!

There are several major factors that affect jaw bone volume:

  • Periodontal Disease – Periodontal disease can affect and permanently damage the jaw bone that supports the teeth. Affected areas progressively worsen until the teeth become unstable.
  • Tooth Extraction – Studies have shown that patients who have experienced a tooth extraction subsequently lose 40-60% of the bone surrounding the extraction site during the following three years. Loss of bone results in what is called a “bone defect”.
  • Injuries and Infections – Dental injuries and other physical injuries resulting from a blow to the jaw can cause the bone to recede. Infections can also cause the jaw bone to recede in a similar way.

Reasons for bone grafts

Bone grafting is a highly successful procedure in preparing the jaw for an implant. It is also a preferable alternative to having missing teeth, diseased teeth, or tooth deformities. 

There are two basic ways in which bone grafting can positively impact the health and stability of the teeth:

Jaw Stabilization – Bone grafting stabilizes and helps restore the jaw foundation for restorative or implant surgery. Deformities can also be corrected and the restructuring of the bone can provide added support.

Preservation – Bone grafting can be used to limit or prevent bone recession following a tooth extraction.

Oral Examination

Initially, Drs. Bianco and Singh will thoroughly examine the affected area in order to assess the general condition of the teeth, bone and gums. You may have panoramic x-rays taken in order to assess the precise depth and width of the existing bone. On occasion, a CAT scan may be recommended to determine the bone condition.

What Does Bone Grafting Involve?

There are several types of bone grafts. Some come from your own body and others come from a donor source (human and animal). All bone is carefully treated to ensure it is fully biocompatible with minimal side effects. 

Autogenous Bone Graft - Harvested from the patient’s own body (hip bone, chin, jaw bone). This method is generally reserved for larger defects associated with pathology or trauma. 

Allograft Bone Graft - Sterilized and treated cadaver or synthetic bone is used in this type of graft. There are minimal side effects from this type of graft and it is a quick recovery.

Xenograft - Sterilized and treated cow bone is used in this type of graft. There are minimal side effects from this type of graft and it is a quick recovery.

Once the bone graft is placed, it can take 3-6 months to regrow bone in the defect. This bone will fuse with the existing bone and the migration of cells will cause firm adhesion and cell growth. Supplementing the jaw with bone will result in greater bone mass to help support and anchor the implant(s).

On occasion, a synthetic membrane may be used to cover the new bone. This membrane prevents soft tissue and bacterial invasions, and encourages new bone growth. The surgery does not require an overnight stay, and you will be provided with comprehensive instructions for your post-operative care. Drs. Bianco and Singh will prescribe medications to help manage infection, discomfort and swelling. This procedure may also be done with intravenous (IV) sedation.