When a tooth is extracted, the thin bony wall of the socket – the hole left by the tooth in the bone – begins to shrink inwards. If left unchecked, the shrinkage in the back teeth can make the site unstable for treatments like dental implants. In the event of a front teeth extraction, shrinkage of the bone can cause the ridge to “pucker”, causing any sort of bridge or prosthetic device to look unnatural.
Bone grafting is a minor surgical procedure to recreate bone tissue and provide sufficient bone thickness so further treatment, like dental implants in Newport Beach, can be successfully placed and fully encased in the bone.
Advantages of a Bone Graft
Bone grafting is recommended in order to restore your bone to its previous form and prevent further shrinkage of the bone after tooth extraction, gum disease, tooth loss, or trauma.
There are a few reasons why you should restore and maintain facial bone structure, including:
- Allow for further treatment – Dental procedures, like the placement of implants, requires that the bone be nearly as thick and dense as it was originally for optimal results.
- To maintain facial structure – The jaw, together with other facial structures, support muscles and skin responsible for one’s cosmetic appearance, without which you would look prematurely aged.
What to Expect from Bone Grafting in Newport Beach, CA
The objective of a bone graft is to coax your body into rebuilding the bone tissue and surrounding structures that bond a tooth to the jaw.
Dr. Steve Ngo starts by separating the gums from the teeth in order to access the roots and bone for cleaning. Afterwards, the bone socket (extraction site) is filled with graft material, and then covered using a small collagen plug to help contain the material. The gums are then put back over the site and stitched into place, and covered with a periodontal pack (bandage).
Over time, your own bone should begin to grow through the porous graft material, preventing the socket from shrinking any further. The bone graft should be given at least 3 – 6 months to heal sufficiently before placing an implant.
Bone Grafting Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What are the alternative procedures?
Bone grafting can be achieved in a number of ways:
- Socket preservation
- Guided bone regeneration
- Ridge splitting
- Block bone grafting
- Sinus augmentation
What materials are used for bone grafting?
The most commonly used material is bovine (cow) bone, though your own bone can also be used. Other options include cadaver bone and synthetic glasses.
Can my body reject the graft material?
No, since the graft does not contain any living or genetically code material – only minerals. The only concern is the amount of bone your body will produce in response to the graft. If there’s still insufficient bone at the time of placing the implant, more grafting material may be added at the same time.