Rebuilding Lost Tissue with Bone Grafting
Bone grafting is a common procedure performed to replace jawbone tissue lost due to missing teeth, periodontal disease, or traumatic injury. The surgery is particularly helpful for patients who might otherwise lack the bone to support dental implants. The team at Stubbs Dental can perform this treatment at either of our locations in Bountiful, UT, and Layton, UT, so that you do not have to schedule an additional appointment with another office.
What is Bone Grafting?
During a bone grafting procedure, your doctor surgically places bone or synthetic material into the jaw to encourage new bone growth. The grafting material both increases the tissue density and acts as a scaffold for new growth. Over time, it is gradually replaced by the patient's natural bone.
In dentistry, bone grafting is most often recommended as a way to boost candidacy for dental implants. Because tooth loss often leads to jawbone deterioration, many patients who need implants lack sufficient bone tissue to anchor them. However, a graft can potentially trigger new growth and lay the foundation for success.
By harvesting healthy bone tissue from elsewhere in the body and placing it in the jaw, your doctor can encourage bone growth to support implants.
Before beginning the procedure, our team will administer local anesthesia to keep you comfortable. If necessary, our licensed anesthesiologist can also provide IV sedation to help you stay relaxed throughout surgery.
If the grafting material comes from your own body, the doctor must first harvest it from its source - usually the chin. If not, he can immediately make an incision in the gums to access the jawbone. He can then attach the grafting material directly onto the bone tissue and stitch up the gums. The entire procedure usually takes an hour or two.
In some cases, your doctor can place an implant immediately after the bone graft procedure.
However, surgery may take longer in certain cases. For example, the doctor may also need to place a special membrane to enhance bone growth, a process known as guided tissue regeneration or GTR. If you need an implant in your upper jaw, the doctor may also perform a sinus lift or augmentation, a special type of bone grafting which lifts up the thin membrane separating the mouth and the sinus cavity.
In some cases, your doctor can place an implant immediately after the bone graft procedure, as well. In most cases, though, placement is split up into a separate surgery.
After the procedure, patients are advised to go home and rest. While you may experience mild discomfort and swelling, you can typically control this with pain killers and the application of an ice pack. Most patients return to their normal activities within a day or two.
If the doctor does not place the implant at the same time as your bone grafting surgery, you will need to wait for the site to heal. If, after three to six months, the graft has successfully triggered new growth, we can plan an appointment for implant placement.
Take the First Step
If you want to learn more about the risks, benefits, and possible alternatives to bone grafting, we encourage you to reach to our team at Stubbs Dental. Contact us today to reserve a time for your complimentary bone grafting consultation.