Dental Bone Regeneration or Grafting

If the bone under the gums is not tall or wide enough, or if tooth is lost, a bone substitute or growth factor is used when the implants are placed or before to provide adequate implant support.

Dental Loss

The 4 most common reasons bone is lost are:

1.Periodontal disease,

2.Sinus enlargement as we age,

3.Infection around a tooth and

4.Tooth loss.

There are times when dental implant surgeons advise their patients to get dental bone regeneration or grafting so as to make the results predictable. In order for dental implants to be successful, there has to be enough bone in the jaw to support the implants and keep the bone stable long term. While most dental procedures do produce some level of pain, most bone regeneration/grafting is a low pain procedure. Read my blog about bone loss with dentures, to learn more about bone loss and the results of wearing dentures, partials or bridges.

The value of bone regeneration varies from one situation to another. Occasionally there is no benefit to bone regeneration (a graftless treatment), and other times it changes the predictability and outcome of treatment dramatically. Often when teeth are extracted with the All-on-Four treatment method is used, bone addition is essential to prevent food collection under the new teeth. Food collection is one of the most common problems we help people minimize with this procedure.  Moreover, the jaw and adjoining facial bones support the skin and muscles that are responsible for outward appearance, restoring facial support/structure. If the underlying bone is missing, the face tends to look prematurely aged or more sunken in. Bone grafting helps to increase the aesthetic appeal in addition to guarantee great dental results, prevent infection and leave the area easier to keep clean and healthy.

What is Dental Bone Grafting?

Dental bone grafting is a procedure that regenerates bone by placing a bone substitute or stimulant (See Growth Factors on home page pull down menu) which the body replaces to eventually support dental implants. This can be done using the patient’s bone (the old “gold standard”) or it can be a processed bone substitute from a bone bank, or coral.    The decision about which bone should be used is based on the location, type, and the number of implants that are required. The grafted bone takes several months to fuse and be replaced by new bone. The processing of bone substitutes makes the material universally safe: Dentists generally wait four to nine months after grafting to proceed with placing the implants in severe bone loss cases. Surgeons can often use smaller amounts of bone when placing it when the tooth is extracted. This method is especially important for a front tooth to prevent the grey metal from showing at the gumline. For severe bone loss situations, growth factors are used and you can learn more on our section on BMP.

How Dentists use Bone Grafting

After the added bone is inserted, the gums are closed over the treated area and then stitched into place. It takes around six to nine months for the new bone to fill the empty space. We have learned in the last decade that a minimum of 2 mm each of bone and soft tissue thickness around implants is essential to long term success and is more than is required around teeth.