When dental bone loss occurs due to gum disease in Long Beach, CA or another reason, the health of the entire oral cavity is at risk. Bone loss often leads to tooth loss, especially if it progresses without treatment. One of the ways that dentists treat bone loss is by restoration. Note that bone won’t grow back of its own accord. But with the help of a dentist, bone can be restored enough to support cosmetic treatments such as dental implants.
How is Bone Restored?
Dentists utilize bone grafts to restore dental bone. The bone graft material can be sourced from a variety of places:
- the patients’ own tissue
- human donor tissue
- animal donor tissue
- synthetic bone graft material
When you are discussing your bone restoration treatment with your dentist, you’ll have an opportunity to weigh in on what kind of bone graft tissue may be used in your situation.
What is a Bone Graft?
The term “graft” refers to material that is transplanted into another place so that it can share its elements and live and grow in the other area. Bone graft is the term used for transplanted bone that is placed in the jaw where there is little or no bone, to support the strengthening and growth of bone in that area.
The dental bone graft procedure is fairly straightforward. In oral surgery, an incision is made in the jaw and the bone graft material is inserted into, and attached to the existing bone. Sometimes a dentist will also inject platelets into the area, which can speed up the production of new bone growth as well as facilitate the healing process.
The bone graft treatment is done while the patient is anesthetized, or under sedation or has numbing agents in place.
How Does a Bone Graft Work?
The bone graft material acts like a scaffolding upon which new bone can grow. The process is not unlike plant grafting, where a piece of a different plant is joined together with a new plant. The new plant assimilates with the graft over time. This is how a bone graft works. The bone graft grows and assimilates with the jaw bone over a period of between three and six months.
Bone grafts have been successfully done for decades now. After a successful bone graft, the jawbone may be strong enough to support a dental implant or dental prosthetic. Talk to your dentist in Long Beach, CA about whether a bone graft makes sense for you.