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David H. Spring, DMD MAGD
Gentle Dentistry in Dallas, Pa
Creating Beautiful Healthy Smiles

Bone Grafting

Bone grafting is closely associated with dental restorations such as bridge work and dental implants. In the majority of cases, the success of a restoration procedure can hinge on the height, depth, and width of the jawbone at the implant site. When the jawbone has receded or sustained significant damage, the implant(s) cannot be supported on this unstable foundation and bone grafting is usually recommended for the ensuing restoration.

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

There are essentially 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, periodontal disease, or other invasive processes.

What Does Bone Grafting Involve?

There are several types of bone grafts. Dr. Spring will determine the best type for your particular condition.

Allograft Bone Graft - Freezed, dried human cadaver bone is used in this type of graft.

Alloplast Bone Graft - is a sunthetic bone graft

Xenograft - Freezed, dried cow bone is used in this type of graft.

The bone graft healing time can take 3 to 6 months to complete.  The bone graft that is used forms a matrix for your bone cells to migrate to the area and make new bone.  When this is complete, the next procedure (if needed) is ready to start.

During the surgery, Dr. Spring will numb the grafting and extraction sites using local anesthetic. A small incision will be made to prepare the site for the new bone and the graft will be anchored into place. On occasion, a synthetic membrane may be used to cover the graft site. This membrane prevents soft tissue and bacterial invasions, and encourages new bone growth. You will be provided with comprehensive instructions for your post-operative care. Dr. Spring will prescribe medications to help manage infection, discomfort and swelling.

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