Maintaining good oral health is essential for a confident smile and overall well-being. However, there are instances when certain dental procedures become necessary to ensure the longevity of your teeth and prepare your teeth for certain procedures, such as dental implants. One such procedure is a bone graft, which involves adding bone tissue to your jawbone. And if you have been recommended a bone graft by your dentist, you might be wondering why it’s necessary.
In a nutshell, bone grafts are used to support the jawbone and provide a stable foundation for dental implants or other dental appliances. Additionally, the procedure adds bone mass to areas where the jawbone has deteriorated due to tooth loss, aging, or other factors. And a bone graft also helps create new blood vessels and stimulates the growth of healthy bone tissue in an area that is lacking it — making it an ideal holistic procedure.
In this short guide, we will explore what a bone graft is, along with seven reasons why your dentist might recommend a bone graft in Anchorage.
Are you the right candidate for a bone graft in Anchorage, AK? Reach out to Health Centered Dentistry today and speak to a holistic dentist.
What Exactly is a Bone Graft Procedure in Modern Dentistry?
A bone graft is a surgical procedure performed by dentists or oral surgeons to augment and strengthen your jawbone’s structure. Typically, this involves transplanting or adding bone tissue to areas of the jaw where there is insufficient bone density or volume.
The graft material can come from various sources — including the patient’s own bone (autograft), a bone from a tissue bank (allograft), or synthetic materials (alloplastic). Ultimately, the choice of graft material depends on your individual needs and the complexity of the procedure.
During the bone graft procedure, your dentist or oral surgeon will carefully prepare the area in the jawbone and place the bone graft material. Basically, the graft acts as a scaffold, promoting the growth of new bone cells over time. As the healing process progresses, the grafted bone integrates with the existing bone — ultimately creating a stronger and more stable foundation. Bone grafts are commonly used to prepare the jawbone for dental implants, and to repair bone damage caused by trauma or periodontal disease.
We should also note that the procedure is generally performed under local or general anesthesia, depending on the extent of the graft, and requires a period of healing and “osseointegration” (bone ingrowth into a load-bearing implant) before further dental procedures can be undertaken.
7 Reasons Why You Might Need a Bone Grafting Procedure
Suboptimal bone volume in the jaw can make you a poor candidate for several dental procedures — particularly implants. Additionally, periodontal disease or missing teeth can also cause bone loss, and a bone graft rebuilds this volume.
As mentioned, adding bone grafting material prepares your jaw for other dental implants and appliances if necessary. But why else might you need a bone graft?
Here, we’ll explore eight reasons why your dentist might recommend a bone graft.
1. Insufficient Bone Density
One of the primary reasons for a bone graft is inadequate bone density in the jaw. This can occur due to various reasons, including tooth loss, periodontal (gum) disease, or facial trauma. Insufficient bone density can also lead to a lack of support for dental implants or compromise the stability of existing teeth. Thus, a bone graft helps to create a solid foundation for successful dental treatments.
2. Preparing for Dental Implants
Dental implants are a popular and effective solution for replacing missing teeth. However, for successful implantation, there must be enough bone to support the implant. If your HCD dentist in Anchorage finds that your jawbone lacks the necessary volume and density, they may recommend a bone graft before proceeding with the implant procedure.
3. Sinus Augmentation
When it comes to dental implants in the upper jaw, the proximity of the sinuses can be a concern. If there is not enough bone height in the upper jaw or if the sinuses are too close to the jawbone, your dentist may recommend a sinus lift or augmentation. And this procedure involves lifting the sinus membrane and adding bone beneath it to create a sturdy foundation for dental implants.
4. Repairing Jaw Damage
Facial trauma or some facial development issues can cause damage to the jawbone. In such cases, a bone graft might be necessary to repair and regenerate the affected area. And this is a great choice because a healthy jawbone is vital not only for dental health but also for maintaining your natural facial structure.
5. Resolving Periodontal Disease Effects
Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, can lead to bone loss in the jaw over time. And bone grafting can help to restore the bone that was damaged by gum disease transmission and stabilize the teeth affected by periodontitis.
6. Enhancing Facial Aesthetics
Bone grafting may also be desired or recommended for simple aesthetics. The fact is, sometimes, patients may seek bone grafting in order to enhance their facial features — to make the jaw appear stronger. If your jawline appears sunken due to bone resorption, a bone graft can restore volume and enhance your overall facial appearance.
7. Holistic Approach to Dental Care
At HCD, we ascribe to the art of holistic dentistry. As such, holistic dentistry takes a comprehensive approach to oral health — considering how dental issues can affect the entire body. Bone grafting aligns with this approach as it ensures the preservation of the jawbone’s structural integrity and supports long-term oral health.
How Painful is Bone Graft Surgery?
We understand how you may be apprehensive about getting a bone graft procedure. But our team is well equipped to place you at ease to ensure that the procedure runs as smoothly as possible.
After the surgery, you may experience some discomfort and soreness in the grafted area — as well as the donor site (if using autograft). Typically, any pain level can be managed effectively with prescribed pain medications which help alleviate any post-operative discomfort. In addition, patients are typically advised to take these medications as directed by their dentist or oral surgeon.
It’s also essential to follow the post-operative instructions provided by your dental professional carefully. This may include guidelines on diet, oral hygiene, and other measures to promote healing and minimize pain. And keep in mind that swelling and mild bruising might also occur around the surgical sites — but these typically subside within a few days to a week.
While bone graft surgery may cause some discomfort during the recovery period, advances in surgical techniques and pain management have significantly reduced the level of pain experienced by patients. If you have concerns about the pain associated with bone graft surgery, discussing these concerns with your dentist or oral surgeon before the procedure can help alleviate any anxiety and ensure that appropriate pain management measures are in place.
Bone Grafting at Health-Centered Dentistry in Anchorage
At Health Centered Dentistry in Anchorage, we provide a variety of dental procedures. In addition, our expert dental team provides top-tier dental care that always takes into account the best path forward for your dental health.
Our intake process begins with a consultation so that we can examine your jaw, assess the condition of your teeth, and recommend the best treatment options for you, which may include recommending a bone graft if dental implant surgery is required.
When you choose HCD, you’re partnering with the best in Anchorage for dental health. Whether you have a missing tooth that needs to be replaced or you’re in need of any other procedure, we’re always mindful of how your oral health affects you. And our dental team is here every step of the way to help you understand the best choice for bone grafts in Anchorage.
Looking for a dental care expert in Anchorage? Set an appointment at Health Centered Dentistry to find the best solutions for your individual needs!