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Bone Grafting


Bone grafting is most often associated with dental restorations such as dental implants & bridge work.

The success of a restoration procedure can depend on the height, depth, and width of the jawbone at the implant site. When the jawbone has  sustained significant damage or receded, the implant(s) cannot be supported on this unstable foundation and bone grafting is usually recommended for the restoration.

These are the several major factors that affect jaw bone volume:

  • Tooth Extraction – Some studies have shown that patients who have experienced a tooth extraction subsequently lose 40% to 60% of the bone surrounding the extraction site during the following three years. Loss of bone results in what is called a “bone defect”.
  • Injuries & Infections – Dental injuries and other physical injuries to the jaw as well as infections can also cause the bone to recede.
  • Periodontal Disease – Periodontal disease can permanently damage the jaw bone that supports the teeth.  Affected areas of the bone progressively worsen until the teeth become unstable.

Reasons for bone grafts

In most cases bone grafting is a highly successful procedure . It is also a preferable alternative to having diseased teeth, missing teeth or tooth deformities. Bone grafting can increase the height or width of the jawbone and fill in voids and defects in the bone.

There are two basic ways in which bone grafting can positively impact the health and stability of the teeth:

Preservation – Bone grafting can be used to prevent or limit bone recession following a tooth extraction, periodontal disease, or injury.

Jaw Stabilization – Bone grafting helps restore the jaw foundation and stabilizes it for restorative or implant surgery. Deformities can also be corrected and the restructuring of the jaw bone can provide added support.

Oral Examination

Initially, Dr. Kinsey will thoroughly examine the affected area in order to assess the general condition of the teeth and gums. If periodontal disease is present or the adjacent teeth are in poor condition, these situations will be addressed in detail before the doctor can begin. Dr. Kinsey will also recommend panoramic x-rays in order to assess the precise depth and width of the existing bone. occasionally, a CAT scan may be recommended to determine the bone condition. Depending on these results, Dr. Kinsey may also anesthetize the area and explore into the gum in order to determine what kind and how much bone is required.

Are There Different Kinds Of Bone Grafting?

There are several types of bone grafts, and Dr. Kinsey will determine the best type for your particular condition.

Allograft Bone Graft – Cadaver or synthetic bone is used in this type of graft.

Xenograft – Cow bone is used in this type of graft.

Autogenous Bone Graft – The bone is harvested from the patient’s own body, usually from the posterior part of the lower jaw or the chin. This method is usually preferred because it produces the best and most predictable results.

Bone grafting procedures may take several months to completely heal. Typically bone is harvested from your own body, or can obtained from a “bone bank”, and added to the affected site. This bone will fuse with the existing bone and the migration of cells will cause  and cell growth and firm adhesion. Supplementing the jaw with bone will result in greater bone mass to help support and anchor the implant(s).

During the surgery Dr. Kinsey will numb the grafting and extraction sites using local anesthetic and small incision will be made to prepare the site for the new bone, where it will be anchored into place. Occasionally a synthetic membrane may be used to cover the new bone, which prevents soft tissue and bacterial invasions, and will encourage new bone growth. The surgery does not require an overnight stay, and Dr. Kinsey will provide you with detailed instructions for your post-operative care. Dr. Kinsey will also prescribe medications to help manage infection, discomfort and swelling.

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