What is a bone graft, exactly?
Like other grafting procedures such as a skin graft, tissue is taken from one part of the body and transplanted to another. In the case of bone grafts, hard tissue may be taken from the hip or knee and then surgically placed over the area(s) of the jaw where bone is less dense. With time, the grafted bone will fuse to existing bone. This procedure can increase the likelihood of dental implants being successfully supported.
Why is a bone graft necessary?
Adequate bone mass is essential for the stabilization process dental implants. This is because an implant will ultimately replace the root of a lost tooth. Like the roots of teeth, bone will fuse around the implant through a process called osseointegration. When patients lack the proper amount of bone, their implants may fail to stabilize.
What conditions affect jawbone density?
Bone density in the jaw can be affected by conditions such as osteoporosis as well as genetic factors. More commonly though, patients whose jawbones lack density tend to have suffered from tooth loss or have periodontal disease. When teeth are lost, the body naturally reabsorbs bone tissue in the jaw since the roots of teeth are no longer there. Periodontal disease also affects bone density by causing tooth loss and the fact that the systemic infection of gum disease erodes bone tissue.
To learn more about bone grafting and dental implants, call our practice to schedule an appointment with our oral surgery team.