What is Bone Grafting?
Bone grafting is a very common procedure that allows us to rebuild the jawbone. By introducing donor bone, a synthetic bone, or your own bone into the dental implant site, the body is encouraged to grow new bone on its own by using the grafting material as a scaffold for rebuilding. Bone grafting is often the first step in the dental implants process. Think of bone grafting to rebuild the jaw like site development to put in the foundation of a house. The foundation has to be on stable ground like that dental implant we place has to be on stable bone.
A Healthy Jaw
Jawbone loss is usually caused by tooth loss. Our teeth do more than just help us eat – they also stimulate the jawbone, which helps it to stay “in shape”. Without regular stimulation from teeth, the jawbone rapidly dissolves as the body assumes it isn’t needed anymore. In fact, bone recession starts almost immediately following the loss of a tooth.
Jawbone Loss Can Cause:
- Problems with remaining teeth
- Collapsed, sagging facial aesthetics
- Premature wrinkling of the skin
- TMJ pain and headaches
- Speech and nutrition problems
Minor Bone Grafting
There are many types of bone grafting. The most common type that we perform at the Cincinnati Center for Corrective Jaw Surgery is considered “minor bone grafting”, and is usually done at the time a tooth is removed in preparation for dental implants.
Major Bone Grafting
Sometimes, there is significant bone loss from tooth loss, trauma, cysts, or tumors. In this case, “major bone grafting” may be required. The process requires the advanced skills of Dr. Lee and sometimes may include the use of bone growth stimulating proteins and stem cells. Major grafting is sometimes done in an outpatient setting.
Bone Grafting Materials
Bone grafting materials can come from several places, including the patient’s own jaw, hip, leg or skull. The bone may also come from a bovine (cow) source, or donated bone from another individual. There are advantages to each choice, and we will help you determine what is the best option for you.
The area in need of grafting will be kept numb throughout the procedure, and for some time after. In fact, Dr. Lee uses long-acting local anaesthetics, some of which lasts for days. Some patients experience soreness once the anesthesia wears off, and for a day or two after. Any pain is usually controlled adequately with over-the-counter medications. Don’t hesitate to ask about our new long-acting local anestetics.
Bone grafting is a safe and reliable procedure that we perform commonly in our office or in an outpatient ambulatory surgery center. Please call our office to set up your initial appointment today! Cincinnati Center for Corrective Jaw Surgery Phone Number 513-232-8989