Bone grafting is a procedure performed to replace bone loss in the jaw that anchors teeth using one or more different bone grafting options. Dental surgeries (also known as oral maxillofacial surgeries) may require bone growth in the upper jaw, such as a sinus augmentation or a ridge augmentation.
If you’re missing teeth or bone in your upper jaw, bone graft may be able to stimulate the bone growth needed to reshape the jaw and prepare it for dental implants. These implants are used to replace missing teeth.
Teeth are anchored into the jaw in an area of bone called the alveolar ridge. The alveolar ridge bone surrounds tooth roots to secure teeth, and allows for normal tooth use such as chewing. Without enough alveolar ridge bone, the jaw cannot support either natural teeth or dental implants.
There are many reasons why you may have bone loss in your jaw. For example, you may have had either a tooth knocked out and bone was lost with the tooth, or you may have periodontal (gum) disease. Whatever the reason, you may not have enough bone in your jaws to anchor your natural teeth or to support the successful placement of dental implants.
If you have lost alveolar ridge bone and need to grow new bone to place dental implants, your surgeon may recommend that you have a dental bone graft surgery.
Most dental bone grafting surgeries are done to restore your bone to its previous form following tooth loss, gum disease or trauma. Bone grafting may also be used to maintain bone structure after tooth extraction.
Restoring and maintaining facial bone structure is important for several reasons. Many dental procedures, such as dental implant placement, require that the bone be as close to its original dimension and position as possible for optimal results. Also, the jaw and other facial bones support the skin and muscle that are responsible for our outward cosmetic appearance. Without the support of the underlying bone, our faces can look prematurely aged.