Bone Grafts

Bone grafting is an oral surgical procedure that restores damaged and/or atrophied areas of the upper or lower jaw where bone is missing or insufficient. This is most often related to dental implant procedures where sufficient bone volume is required to ensure the proper placement and support of the artificial tooth root that is set into the jawbone; however, bone grafting is also required for ‘fixed bridge’ and partial or full denture candidates in some cases. There are a variety of factors that can cause oral bone loss; the most common include infection, periodontal (gum) disease, and trauma resulting in tooth loss.

When a tooth is lost or removed, the alveolar bone that surrounds your teeth begins to degenerate. The sole purpose of this special type of bone is to support your teeth; when it is lost due to atrophy, bone grafting is required in order to rebuild what has deteriorated and provide proper jaw support for replacement teeth.

There are four primary types of bone used for grafting – autogenous bone, cadaver bone, bovine bone, and synthetic bone. Autogenous bone is bone harvested from your own body, typically taken from the upper or lower jaw. In the majority of oral bone grafting cases autogenous bone is used. Depending on the location and severity of an individuals’ bone loss Dr. Hiranaka may determine another type of bone is better suited.

Most bone grafts are minor procedures that are performed in-office under local anesthesia or intravenous sedation. Extensive jaw defects that require major bone grafts – due to severe trauma, tumor surgery, or congenital defects, are performed in an operating room and may require short-term hospitalization lasting no more than a few days.

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