One unfortunate outcome of untreated periodontal disease, commonly known as gum disease, is the loss of bone mass. If this should happen to you, your dentist may recommend a bone graft, particularly when needed for the placement of a dental implant.
A bone graft procedure is a minor type of surgery that assists in developing new bone. The bone may be taken from another part of your body, a donor, or formed from synthetic materials.
Although a bone graft is helpful, it is not for everyone. You would not be considered as a candidate for this procedure if you:
Periodontitis is an advanced form of periodontal disease that is irreversible. It results in permanent damage to the gum tissue, bones, and nearby soft tissues. The condition is initiated by the presence and accumulation of plaque and tartar on the teeth and around the gum line.
Periodontitis irritates the gums, causing them to loosen and separate from the teeth. This leads to the formation of deep pockets under the gum line. Bacteria, plaque, and tartar can fill these spaces.
If the patient does not undergo a professional cleaning, periodontal disease leads to bone loss. Since the body does not readily develop new bone cells, a bone graft may be needed.
To receive a dental implant, a firm foundation must be in place. If you have gone without one or more teeth for a long time, a process known as bone resorption will occur. The bone will literally melt away, so there is no foundation for an implant. A bone graft procedure can help provide this foundation.
This procedure uses your own bone for the graft procedure. Possible donor areas include the hip bone, jawbone, or other areas.
The allograft procedure involves the placement of human bone taken from a cadaver. This is a safe and affordable alternative to the autograft procedure, with a low risk of infection.
If you have missing teeth in the back part of your mouth, a section of your sinus can start collapsing and filling in gaps. A sinus lift procedure involves the restoration of the sinus to repair the gap using a bone graft.
Before undergoing a bone graft procedure, you will receive general anesthesia so that you are asleep and will not feel anything during your surgery.
You may experience some discomfort for a few weeks after your procedure, which can often be alleviated using over-the-counter pain relievers. Stick to eating soft foods while your mouth is healing, like oatmeal, mashed potatoes, scrambled eggs and smoothies.
You should heal completely from your bone graft procedure in about four to six weeks. If you should experience any complications following your surgery, contact your dentist or oral surgeon right away.