When you’ve lost bone from your jaw, we can often restore it by performing a surgical procedure called bone grafting. Bone grafting techniques and technology enable us to restore the health and strength of the bone that supports your teeth.

 Why is bone grafting used?

The area from which the bone was lost, often called a bony defect, may be a result of periodontal disease, removal of a tooth, trauma, a cyst, or long-term tooth loss. Though your body can’t normally grow new bone on its own, with bone grafting, we can help your body replace lost or missing bone, fill in pockets of bone loss, and stimulate new bone and soft tissue growth.

The procedure

First we select the bone grafting material. We may use your own natural bone, bone tissue from another source, or artificial bone.

To place the bone graft, we begin by making sure the area is completely numb, and then we gently separate the gums from the bone or tooth. If a tooth is present in the grafting site, we’ll use a process called root planing to remove all of the plaque or tartar from the root surfaces of the tooth. This ensures that the area is free from harmful bacteria.

We then sculpt the surrounding bone to the desired shape and place the grafting material into the bony defect. Sometimes, we’ll take another step, called guided tissue regeneration. In this procedure, a special membrane is placed over the graft site to prevent unwanted tissue from growing into the graft site, and to enhance normal bone growth.

After the graft is placed, your gums are then repositioned over the graft site, and several sutures are placed.

Over the course of three to nine months, your body works to repair the grafted site, growing new soft tissue and bone. This new bone growth strengthens the area by connecting your existing bone with the bone material we placed during the procedure.

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