About Bone Grafting
The strength of your jawbone is important to your total oral health. If your jawbone is weakened from physical trauma, missing teeth, or gum (periodontal) disease, you may require a bone graft to support your natural teeth and tooth replacement with dental implants. Bone grafting replenishes and regrows bone tissue in your jaw to help you overcome bone loss and maintain your oral function, health, and natural facial shape. At Advanced Dentistry of Centre County, our skilled dentists often perform this type of oral surgery to create the structure and support required for long-term dental implant success. If you are considering dental implants but have lost bone in your jaw, schedule a consultation at our State College, PA office to talk with us about your bone grafting options.
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Is a Bone Graft Right for You?
You may be a good candidate for a bone graft if you have suffered jawbone loss and are considering dental implants for tooth replacement. Bone loss in the jaw may result from conditions, like advanced gum disease, injury, and even tooth loss. When a tooth is lost, the jawbone in the area begins to deteriorate. In the absence of daily stimulation (which occurs from tooth roots each time you bite or chew), the bone begins to break down in density, height, and volume, leaving behind an indentation in the arch and often altering the shape of the face. Similar to natural teeth, dental implants integrate with the jaw and need a certain amount of healthy, solid bone in order to provide proper function. Bone graft surgery builds up the jaw and its contours, creating the foundation that dental implants need to function as effective tooth replacements.
The Bone Grafting Process
The steps of your bone grafting procedure will vary based on the source of your graft and the amount of bone loss that has occurred. After taking digital x-rays and performing a thorough exam, our dentists can help you determine the ideal bone grafting approach for your specific needs. We may recommend one of the following bone grafting techniques:
- Autografts use bone tissue taken from another area of your own body, such as the chin
- Allografts utilize bone from another human source, such as a bone bank (cadaver bone)
- Xenografts incorporate bone tissue from an animal source, typically bovine (cow) in nature
- Allopasts infuse synthetic biocompatible materials into bone grafting techniques
As soon as the bone graft is ready, our team will administer local anesthesia to the treatment area. Sedation dentistry options can also be used to further enhance your comfort during your oral surgery. An incision will be made in the gum tissue to expose the jawbone. Your bone graft will be placed in the area of deficit along with biologic proteins and collagen that encourage the graft to integrate with the existing bone and help your body grow new tissue. A mesh may then be placed over the graft to help guide the shape and offer protection as the area heals. The gum tissue will be sutured closed and post-treatment instructions will be provided.
After Your Bone Grafting Procedure
You may have minor jaw tenderness and swelling in the first few days following your bone graft procedure. These symptoms can generally be managed with cold compresses against the outside of the face and prescription or over-the-counter pain medication. Over the next 6 – 9 months, the graft should heal and fuse with your jawbone through a natural process known as osseointegration. During this time, it is crucial to maintain a proper oral care routine with meticulous brushing and flossing each day. Follow-up appointments at Advanced Dentistry will be scheduled as needed so that our dentists can check your healing and determine when your jawbone is ready for the dental implant process.
Insurance Coverage for Care
We will talk to your dental insurance to understand your plan and determine if your benefits extend to bone grafting surgery. Prior to your procedure, our financial coordinator will talk with you about any personal costs and help you choose a convenient payment solution. Advanced Dentistry is dedicated to providing affordable treatment options and accepts numerous payment methods, including third-party financing through CareCredit.
Healthy Support for Your Smile
Bone grafting may be an essential part of bringing strength, support, and natural appearance back to your jaw. It may also be necessary in order to give your future dental implants the support needed for long-term tooth replacement success. If you have bone loss in the jaw, we invite you to schedule a consultation with our dentists at Advanced Dentistry of Centre County and learn about your bone graft options. Talk to our caring State College, PA team today to learn more about providing healthy support for your smile.