Bone Grafting

At New York Oral, Maxillofacial, and Implant Surgery, we have an expert team that is highly skilled in performing bone grafting procedures. Bone continually changes and remodels itself. Each day your body deposits new bone cells and disposes of the old ones. This is known as bone turnover. To maintain the bone surrounding teeth (called alveolar bone,) biting forces must be generated through the teeth to the supporting bone. In the case of prematurely lost teeth, the alveolar bone in the area of the missing tooth no longer receives any stress or force to stimulate it. This can lead to shrinking or loss of the bone in the area (termed atrophy.) If an implant is planned to be placed in an area where bone atrophy has occurred, bone grafting may be necessary to augment the missing bone prior to placing implants.

Preop Ridge Split graft of a patient
Postop Ridge Split graft of a patient

Whenever you prematurely lose a tooth, the bone around it will start to be resorbed, just as if it was melting away. You can also lose bone supporting your teeth if you have periodontal disease, also known as gum disease. Remember that your teeth, gums, and the bone surrounding your teeth are important in supporting your facial muscles, skin, and soft tissue. It's important to treat tooth loss as soon as possible since losing multiple teeth, or too much bone can make your face sag so you will look more aged. More importantly, many other dental problems can arise. It might even make your treatment much more complicated.

Modern grafting techniques allow us to rebuild bone that has been lost so you can enjoy improved health and appearance. This will also make tooth replacement much easier and will provide better facial support.

In bone grafting, a small incision is made in your gum so we can get access to the bone below the tissue where grafting material can be added. The grafting material consists of processed bone minerals which act as a scaffold for your body to deposit new cells around. This grafting material can come from various sources, either your own body or from an animal or human donor. This bone is treated in a lab to make sure it's sterile and safe for your body to use. It can also come in many forms such as blocks, granules, powder, or gel.

What Is Bone Grafting Useful For?

Throughout dentistry, bone grafts have been used to accomplish three recurrent goals: saving teeth, preserving bone after tooth extractions, and increasing bone volume when placing dental implants. Severe gum disease can result in serious bone loss; your teeth might loosen and even fall out. Through bone grafting, we're able to help the bone around them regenerate so your teeth can be better supported and stay in place. Bone grafting has also become a very common second step to tooth extractions. After a tooth is removed, a bone graft is inserted in the empty space in an effort to preserve the bone level in the extraction site so that the bone will be present in the area if you wish to proceed with an implant in the future. Usually the optimal time to place an implant after an extraction and graft is 3-4 months after the procedure. If you don't place an implant, the graft material keeps your jaw intact. Dental implants require a volume of bone with proper density as a foundation for proper functionality and better success rates.

The bone grafting procedure is typically simple, but the results are substantial. As with any treatment, being proactive is usually better to prevent the need for future procedures.

To get more information about bone grafting, call the experienced oral surgeons at New York Oral, Maxillofacial, and Implant Surgery at (914) 768-8220 today!