Regardless of the cause, when you lose a tooth, you may experience bone loss in your jawbone. The teeth stimulate the jawbone, so if you have lost one or more teeth, your jawbone will start to deteriorate. As time goes by, you may experience enough bone loss that dental implants won’t hold. If this is the case, we may recommend bone grafting.
Bone grafting is a procedure where we replace the missing bone in your jaw. There are four types: autogenous, allograft, xenograft and alloplasts.
Autogenous grafts use bone from another part of your body, moving it to your mouth. Usually bone is removed from non-essential bones like your chin. By using your own bone, you are reducing the chance that your jawbone will reject it. It even prevents infection. Also, it is made up of active cellular material since it is still living.
Allografts use human bone but not your own. Instead, we use bone from cadavers who have donated their bones to bone banks. This is considered safe because the bone goes through rigorous testing before use.
Xenografts use bone from another source. The most commonly used source is cow bones.
Alloplasts are a synthetic bone graft made from chemical constituents of bone that mimics naturally occurring bone mineral.
The benefit of using either allografts or xenografts is that our patients will not have to have a second surgery to harvest their bone. Also, both sources are easily found so we will have plenty of bone for whatever you need.
After you have received a bone graft, you will need to go home with antibiotics and pain medication. You may need to eat soft food like eggs, fish and pasta while your mouth heals. It can take between 3-6 months to completely heal. Once the bone is healed, we will take a CT scan to see the new bone volume before we plan to place the implants.
Don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions.