What Does Bone and Gum Grafting Do?
Bone and gum grafting is necessary to build up the jaw bone or rebuild gum tissue. People who suffer from periodontal disease may need these procedures done before restorative dental treatments, like dental inserts and crowns, can be performed.
If you’ve had one tooth or several teeth missing for a long time, there’s a chance that the bone below where those teeth would have been become broken down. A breakdown in bony structure can also be caused by the following circumstances:
- Facial trauma
- Growth deformity
- Periodontal disease
- Untreated cavities
The jaw must have sufficient bone length and width to support dental implants. To regenerate bone and facilitate new growth, grafting is performed with bone tissue taken from your own body or a donor source.
Often, the tissue is taken from healthy areas of your jaw or chin. The donor’s bone is then placed, or “grafted” onto the area of your jaw that needs regeneration. Over time, it will fuse with your existing bone, and the cells will work together to create adequate tissue to support dental implants.
How is Bone Harvested?
You may decide to have a piece removed from your chin to complete the graft. An incision is made in your gum line below your bottom teeth to expose the chin. Then, a piece is removed, along with the bone marrow. The area where the bone is removed from may be filled with a bone graft material, and then the incision is closed with stitches.
The area that requires grafting will be exposed, and the graft will be placed and secured with titanium screws. Once the procedure is over, you’ll be given antibiotics and possibly pain medication to deal with any discomfort. You’ll be instructed on how to care for your grafting site to prevent disruption of the bone graft.
Bone grafting is often an outpatient procedure, and many patients have a comfortable experience using sedation dentistry.