When Do You Need a Bone Graft?

East Georgia Center for Oral & Facial Surgery

Richard J. Hammond, DMD; and Suketu J. Patel, DMD, MD

Adequate bone is necessary when you are trying to replace missing teeth with dental implants. Bone grafts become essential when there is damaged or missing bone in your jaw. Dental implants are secured to the bone in your jaw, and the bone needs to be strong and thick enough to support an implant for a very long time.

After you lose an adult tooth, about 25% of your bone shrinks within the first year. When a tooth is missing, the constant bite force is no longer occurring, and the jaw bone becomes less motivated to stay healthy. This process continues if left untreated for an extended period of time. After a certain point, the bone levels become too thin to support a dental implant. At this point, a bone graft would be needed to regenerate this lost bone.

Teeth need to be removed for various reasons: infection, deep cavities, periodontal/gum disease or traumatic injuries. Often times, we will recommend that a bone graft is performed simultaneously with a tooth removal procedure. This sort of bone graft is frequently called “ridge preservation” or “socket preservation.” The goal of this type of bone graft is to preserve the existing jaw bone for a dental implant. A dental implant can typically be placed 3-6 months after a socket preservation bone graft, and it allows for more predictable healing and stability for the implant.

Dental trauma can occur when a tooth is displaced, or the jaw bone is fractured from an injury. Due to the nature of these injuries, sometimes bone can be lost, and a bone graft would be necessary to replace the injured teeth with implants.

Periodontal disease or “gum disease” can cause a significant amount of bone loss. Periodontal disease can result from inadequate oral hygiene at home, failure to receive dental cleanings every 6 months, or genetics. Certain bacteria colonize under your gums and on plaque around your teeth. These bacteria then eat away at your bone causing bone loss and loosening of your teeth.

The surgeons at East Georgia Center for Oral and Facial Surgery have a high level of surgical expertise and a vast knowledge of the advanced technology for bone grafting procedures. If you are considering dental implants or have been told that you require bone grafting, please trust one of our expert surgeons to deliver the specialized care that you deserve.

Contact East Georgia Center for Oral & Facial Surgery to schedule a consultation:

Statesboro Office: 912-764-5435
Swainsboro Office: 478-419-2100

 

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