Did you know that losing one or more teeth affects more than your ability to eat and talk? That’s right—a missing tooth can also affect the rest of the mouth, particularly the jawbone. Without proper treatment, the affected part of the jawbone can slowly deteriorate. It loses bone density, which can shrink the appearance of your jaw and alter your facial appearance.


The good news is, you won’t have to live with this. Replacing your missing teeth with dental implants can preserve the jawbone and provide you with all of the benefits of restored dental function. From being able to chew tough foods to talking and smiling, dental implants offer the best oral health and quality of life after losing one or several teeth.


Before you go ahead with dental implant surgery, your periodontist in Etobicoke needs to make sure that you’re a good candidate. If it has been years since you last lost your teeth, it’s likely that the jawbone has deteriorated. In this case, your periodontist will need to do a bone graft before placing dental implants.


So, wondering what a bone graft is and whether you need it? In this article, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about bone grafting.


What is dental bone grafting?

Bone grafting is a common surgical technique used to rehabilitate bone loss and rebuild bone density. While bone cells regenerate on a regular basis, losing too much density means you’ll need a bone graft to stimulate regrowth.


Dental bone grafting is a procedure performed by your periodontist to strengthen your jawbone. They will make an incision in the gums to expose the jawbone, then attach the graft where your jawbone is weak and has lost density. Over time, the bone creates new cells around the graft, effectively rebuilding your jawbone.


How is bone grafting performed?

For dental implant patients, bone grafting is a preliminary procedure performed by a periodontist before placing the implant. Bone grafting is done in just a few steps:


  1. Your periodontist will place you under anesthesia
  2. They will make an incision in the gum tissue above where the bone graft is needed
  3. Then, your periodontist will shape the affected part of the jawbone
  4. Your periodontist will place the graft
  5. To close, they will secure the graft in place with a pin or screw, and stitch up the gum tissue.


On average, it takes about 4 to 7 months for a bone graft to heal and successfully fuse with your natural jawbone. Once it heals, your periodontist can proceed with the actual dental implant procedure.


Bone Graft Materials

There are several source materials used for bone grafting. Depending on your health and medical history, your periodontist will recommend either your own bone, a cadaver graft, a bovine graft, or a synthetic material.


  • Bone harvested from your body: This is the most commonly recommended material for bone grafting. Using bone from a different part of your body carries a significantly lower risk of infection and graft rejection. Bone from the hip, shin, hip, or chin can be harvested and placed in the affected area of the jawbone.
  • Cadaver graft: Another common option is using bone from a human cadaver. If the donor graft and your cells are a good match, the risk of infection and graft rejection are low.
  • Bovine graft: If neither your own bone nor a cadaver graft are a good match, your periodontist will recommend using bone harvested from a cow cadaver. Bovine grafts require thorough sterilization to prevent infection.
  • Synthetic bone material: Typically made of biocompatible materials such as minerals, synthetic bone grafts are typically safe, although they carry a higher risk of rejection since they are foreign materials.


Do you need dental bone grafting?

Bone grafting is a crucial part of getting dental implants. If your periodontist previously found that the only reason you’re not a good candidate for implants is a weakened jawbone, bone grafting can quickly change that.


It’s important to remember that not everyone needs a bone graft. But if you’re replacing teeth you lost a few years ago and never had it treated, there’s a good chance that you’ll need bone grafting in order to receive dental implants.


Along with time elapsed, other factors that increase your need for bone grafting include age and gum disease. Aging is known to weaken the bones, while severe gum disease can damage the jaw.


Types of Dental Bone Grafting

There are a number of areas where your periodontist can place a bone graft. Depending on the location of your missing teeth, you can receive these types of dental bone grafts:


1. Block bone graft


For this type of bone graft, your periodontist will use bone from the back of the jawbone near the wisdom teeth. Block bone grafting is recommended for serious bone loss.


2. Socket graft


If you have a tooth extraction planned, your periodontist can place a socket graft at the same time. This will prevent bone loss or the jawbone from receding where the tooth has been extracted. With a socket graft, you’ll be ready for implants much sooner than getting a graft years later.


3. Sinus lift


Your periodontist will recommend a sinus lift bone graft if you lost molars on the upper teeth. When you’re missing your upper molars, the sinus may start reaching downward, reaching into the gap created by missing teeth. A sinus lift will restore the sinus back to its original position, allowing the gap to be repaired with a bone graft.


Ask Our Periodontists If You Need Bone Grafting

Are you considering dental implants to replace your missing teeth? You’ve come to the right place. Our team of periodontists in Etobicoke are here to help. We provide a full suite of periodontal treatments to help you prepare for dental implants and ensure that your jawbone is strong enough to support them.


At Periodontal Associates, you can count on a detailed consultation and careful bone grafting process. Our periodontists will assess the strength of your jawbone and make sure that bone grafting is right for you. Once they’ve performed your bone grafting procedure, you can proceed with complete tooth replacement.


Is your jawbone strong enough to support dental implants? Find out from our periodontists in Etobicoke, and see if you need bone grafting.

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