What is Bone Graft Surgery?
Bone graft surgery is a procedure to help bone grow or heal where there is bone damage or deficiency. Bone grafting is sometimes called guided (bone) tissue regeneration. Whether or not you need bone grafting for dental implants and extractions comes down to many factors.
In general bone grafting in dentistry may be needed in the following cases:
- Teeth Extraction sites to help bone grow back properly into the bony socket. Also called socket preservation. Socket preservation helps prevent long term bone loss, and helps grow bone for dental implants to be placed where teeth have been extracted.
- Infections caused by failed Root Canals
- Implant surgery to help grow bone around implants. Especially helps grow bone when implants are placed at the same time as tooth removal. This is very common when doing full mouth implant cases where several teeth are being removed and implants are being placed at the same time
- Grow bone in areas where there is not enough bone to place implants
- Grow bone to improve gum health and cosmetics around dental implant sites.
- Wisdom teeth extraction sites
- Grow bone in atrophied sinuses
How is Bone Grafting done with Dental Implant Surgery?
The most common reason to perform bone graft procedures is for dental implant surgery. There are two categories: The first is placing the bone graft where implants are done after a healing period. That is bone graft surgery and delayed dental implant placement. This kind of bone graft is considered pre-surgical ridge augmentation. Generally, this is done when the area to be grafted has had an extensive infection which has destroyed the native bone and compromised the success of placing a dental implant. In this situation, the infected area is cleaned, and new bone is added (this acts as a scaffold to allow the persons body to replace it with their own natural bone). The site is revisited for implant surgery after 3-6 months of healing.
Bone Loss Occurs After Tooth Loss
In the absence of infection, the area can undergo bone loss simply based off of time without a tooth present. The teeth hold the bone levels and without a tooth present, the jaw bones can become atrophied over time. In this event, pre-surgical ridge augmentation or bone graft surgery may be necessary prior to getting dental implants, as described above.
Immediate Implant Surgery Often Requires Bone Grafting
The second kind of bone graft surgery is when the bone graft is done at the time of implant placement. This type of bone graft is usually done when the site is 75% of the way intact, but with only one portion of the bone in question. The implant is placed and bone graft is added to the area similarly to the way potting soil is added when re-potting a plant. The newly added bone heals around the dental implant and the original defect is repaired.