A bone graft may not seem like a procedure you might receive at the dentist, but it may actually be needed for a variety of reasons. While your teeth aren’t made from bone, your jaw certainly is. Considering this support is what holds the teeth and keeps them strong enough to keep chewing, bone grafts can be exactly what you need to improve your oral health. If you’re considering one, it helps to know not just why you would need one, but what it is and what to expect.
What Is a Dental Bone Graft?
A dental bone graft is a procedure for the jaw to replace lost bone or to add support to existing bone. While bone is usually taken from a different part of your body to make the graft, there are synthetic versions available. The preferred standard will be from either your hip, shin, or the back of the jaw, as it’s generally considered the safest option. A dentist will first make a cut in the jaw and then attach the extra material to the jaw. Pain management can usually be accomplished with ice and over-the-counter pain relievers.
Why Would I Need One?
Tooth loss, gum disease, or dental implants can all affect the amount of bone you have in your jaw. Receding gums can begin to erode the jaw, causing it to weaken under constant pressure from chewing. Or if you need screws attached for the artificial roots of a missing tooth, your jaw will need to be strong enough to handle the pressure. If you use your own bone, it usually encourages the support in your jaw to both accept the new material and heal faster. There are different types of bone grafts available, and your dentist can tell you more about the right one for you.
To a certain extent, bone loss is unavoidable as we age. Some people might need a graft even after taking care of their teeth as well as one could be expected to care for them. The right dentist can make up for this though by adding enough support to reduce pain and keep your jaw healthy and strong.