Why Would I Need a Bone Graft?

Bone grafting technique has been utilized for over a hundred years with many useful medical applications, including the dental bone graft in more recent years.  While the technique may sound scary, it’s actually a relatively minor dental procedure that is a great way to get your dental health back on track.

Here’s why you may need a bone graft:

A dental bone graft can be necessary and essential for replacing the missing tooth or a damaged bone in your jaw.

Dental Issues

The prime reason for getting a bone graft surgery is to stabilize the dental implants.

When you don’t have one of your adult teeth anymore, due to extraction or any other reason, the bone around your teeth starts to disappear – as much as 25% of the bone being reduced within the first year.  If left unattended for a prolonged period, there won’t be enough surrounding jawbone to support the dental implant, because when a bone is lost, it cannot be recovered unless a bone graft surgery is performed.

Dental trauma, persistent grinding of teeth or teeth clenching, can create pressure on the bone supporting the tooth, and this constant pressure can even cause cracked or fractured teeth.  If the bone does not heal quickly, you might need bone grafting.

Missing Tooth

No matter if a tooth is missing due to an extraction or because it accidentally was knocked out, over time, the jawbone will slowly deteriorate if it doesn’t have a tooth to support.  This can make it difficult to receive dental implants, and bone grafting will likely be needed.

Bone grafting can both restore and prevent jawbone loss.  It strengthens the area where the missing tooth is and gives you more options when it comes to replacing the tooth.

Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease or gum disease can also cause the bone to deteriorate; the bacteria can slowly eat away the bone tissues and periodontal ligament, affecting the surrounding teeth and leading to future complications.

Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, can weaken the jawbone and cause teeth to loosen.  The good news is periodontal disease can be treated or reversed, and bone grafting is available to restore the foundation for strong teeth. When a tooth becomes loose, one of the first things a patient usually considers is a dental implant. However, if the patient has had periodontal disease for an extended amount of time, bone grafting may be necessary to strengthen the bone to support implants.

Facial Appearance

The bone loss from just one tooth might not be noticeable, but if you lose multiple teeth, or have advanced gum disease, your bone loss can actually affect the way your face looks – causing sagging facial features since there’s not enough bone left to support them.

Bone grafting helps restore your appearance, as well as ensures that any tooth replacements you get will stay in place.

Large Sinus Cavity

Bone loss in the sinus area requires Sinus Bone Graft.  This procedure increases the amount of bone in the upper jaw that is required for dental implants, and is one of the most common bone grafting for dental implant patients.

Teeth Misalignment

Finally, misaligned teeth can cause bone loss over time.  In cases of teeth over-erupting, or being out of place completely, the bone stimulation can gradually decrease if teeth are left untreated.

While there are various methods for straightening teeth, bone grafting may still be needed to ensure there is enough support for the teeth once they become aligned again.

There are a few different types of dental bone graft, and your dentist will be able to determine which one is best for you.

The procedure itself usually takes less than two hours.  You’ll get it done in your dentist’s office, upon which you’ll go through a brief healing process.

If you do need a dental bone graft, rest assured there’s nothing to be afraid of – Dr. Shea F. Stevens and his caring and knowledgeable team at Smiles By Stevens is here to ensure your dental experience is as pleasant and stress-free as possible.

At Smiles By Stevens, we understand that you and your dental needs are unique – so we make extra effort to create an environment where you feel comfortable, educated, and well taken care of.  We incorporate a variety of latest equipment, technologies and materials as we offer comprehensive dental care tailored to your needs and goals.

Dr. Shea F. Stevens specializes in general, cosmetic, and implant dentistry and has been named one of PA’s top 20 dentists for multiple years in a row.

Contact our Lancaster PA dentistry office today to make an appointment and to learn more about bone graft and other dental procedures you or your loved ones may need: 717.581.0123.