Bone grafting is where the jawbone is built up to accommodate a dental implant or other restorative device. Bone grafting is a common procedure that is used frequently for dental implants and other periodontal procedures. The bone used to graft is taken from a sample from the patient. Many times, the bone is taken from another area of the mouth when drilling takes place. The bone fragments are suctioned from the mouth and used for the graft. Cadaver bone fragments are also used. They are harvested by bone banks and are a very safe source for bone donation.
Sometimes a tooth is not restorable and needs to be pulled. When a tooth is extracted, studies show that 40-60% of bone is lost at the extraction site by the time the wound heals. This becomes a problem when we plan to replace the tooth. Bone loss severely limits our options to replace the tooth and also makes it much harder to create an esthetic, natural-looking tooth replacement.
However, there is a way to prevent this bone loss from happening. At the extraction appointment, Dr. Furniss can place a bone graft in the socket to preserve the ridge and create a much more ideal space for replacing the tooth. This will preserve the height as well as the width of the bony ridge, allowing for the very best environment to place a bridge or implant.
Placement of the bone graft only adds about 10 minutes to the extraction procedure. Preserving the bone at the time of extraction is also far less expensive and more effective than trying to graft later after everything has healed and bone has been lost.
Bone is very precious! When bone is lost it is sometimes impossible to replace, and if too much bone is lost then implant placement is not possible. If you find yourself in need of an extraction, it is wise to consider socket preservation.
When removing a tooth it is important to consider what will be done with the empty space after that tooth is removed. Wisdom teeth are in the back of the mouth, so that site will heal on its own with no complications. If it is necessary to remove another tooth, plans must be made. If a tooth is removed and nothing is done with the extraction site, the jaw bone will degenerate ad change shape during healing and can cause your teeth to shift. This can create problems in your bite and affect your ability to speak and chew.
If you want to fill the space with a dental implant, a sturdy jaw bone is necessary to install the implant. If you opt for a dental bridge, the bridge must be molded and placed before the teeth shift.
Your dentist is always open to a conversation on what you would like to do with your extraction site before removing a tooth. They will be able to make a recommendation and layout a treatment plan. Make sure to schedule follow up appointments to properly care for your extraction site.