A dental bone graft is a surgical procedure that repairs or rebuilds bone via the transplanting of bone tissue. Healthy bone tissue, when transplanted, recreates missing bone and supporting tissue.
For someone who suffers from gum disease, such as periodontitis, bone loss can be a real problem. Not only can gum disease lead to the loss of teeth and gum tissue, it can lead to bone loss in the jaw area as well. When oral hygiene is neglected, bacteria can form and thrive in the plaque that has formed on the teeth. This results in swelling and inflammation of the gums. Periodontitis begins as gingivitis, but the gums bleeding when the teeth are brushed or even just on their own comma and mild swelling of the gums can also occur. As bacteria forms, the plaque present on the teeth produces toxins and bacteria that make their way below the gum line. When this happens, the underlying tissue becomes infected.
When these conditions are left untreated, the teeth will eventually be affected by the inability of the gums and bone to support them, and they will fall out. The number one cause of adult tooth loss is periodontitis. The good news is dental bone graft surgery can repair and reverse a significant amount of the damage caused by periodontitis.
Dental bone graft surgery is performed by a periodontist. The surgery may require a bone graft in order to repair and strengthen the bone that is needed to support dental implants. A portion of the gum is moved so that any infected material containing bacteria can be removed. Any rough bone surfaces are smoothed down to adapt to the new bone graft material. The body then begins to formulate new, healthy bone.
If tooth loss has already been a problem, an artificial metal post is embedded into the jawbone to hold the implanted tooth securely in place. This naturally requires a firm base with enough strong bone to support and stabilize the implants. If there is not enough healthy natural bone material to support dental implants, then a bone graft will be necessary before the implants can be set into place.
Bone grafting involves removing a portion of healthy bone tissue from another area of the jaw or from some other area of the body and transplanting it to the weak area of the jawbone. There is also artificial bone available commercially for use, should the periodontist deem it the best choice. Once this is done, there will be a waiting period of several months while the bone heals completely. After this healing period, the grafted material will be replaced by new, strong and healthy bone growth. The only exception is in instances in which the bone grafting needed is very minor and can be done along with the implant placement surgery.
Along with real or artificial bone material used in grafting, other materials may also be used. This is done to stimulate the growth of the new healthy tissue. Materials such as growth protein enhancers or mesh-like membrane filters may be included. If your periodontist recommends a procedure known as a GTR (guided tissue regeneration) along with the bone graft, a small piece of mesh will be placed between the bone and the gum to prevent the growth of gum tissue in the place where bone needs to grow. This process is only one of the procedures that can be used. More advanced and innovative techniques are being developed all the time.
In West Los Angeles, California, Dr. Arman Torbati provides the most comprehensive and advanced bone grafting procedures. Dr. Torbati is one of the top oral health experts in West Los Angeles. He is a Harvard graduate, A USC professor, and he has a long history of successful experience with dental implants.
There are four primary types of bone grafts, with more advanced procedures and methods being developed all the time thanks to those at the forefront of prosthodontics like Dr. Torbati.
Prior to scheduling a procedure, your dentist or oral surgeon will discuss with you the advantages and disadvantages of each type of bone graft to determine which one is the best choice for your specific needs.
Bone loss resulting in the eventual need for bone grafts can be caused by gum disease. Preventing bone loss is much easier than undergoing bone grafting later on. This can be done by taking steps to prevent gum disease. The most effective way to do this is to practice good oral hygiene on a daily basis. Brush your teeth at least twice daily using a soft-bristled toothbrush and a non-abrasive fluoride toothpaste. Remember to brush the tongue and the gumline as well as the teeth. Floss daily using either traditional floss or a water flossing system. Make sure to see your dentist for regular checkups. Eat a healthy, nutritious diet, keeping sugary junk foods to a minimum. Preventive measures are the best way to avoid the necessity of a bone graft.