Bone grafting in the mouth is done for a variety of reasons, but overall, to restore the bone back to normal dimensions. It can be as simple as adding powdered bone to an extraction socket (a removed tooth space), or adding bone to a part of the jaw to help hold dental implants or support a denture where there has been bone loss. Dr. Noren will explain and also show you on dental models the basics of what he thinks you will need in your own particular situation. He will explain the alternatives and what the various surgical procedures entail. As always, the risks and benefits of any procedure will be explained.
For the most common of these procedures, socket grafting is the graft of choice. This is because the best time to preserve the bone is at the time the tooth is removed. It is less costly and is also less invasive than having to graft at a later time. For socket grafting, the tooth is gently removed and the site is cleansed and prepared briefly. Next, the granular bone and small amounts of mineral are placed and compacted gently into the socket. As a side effect, less discomfort is generally experienced in sockets that have been grafted vs. those that have not. This is not the main reason why we graft, but is helpful nevertheless.
In some cases where more reconstructive surgery is needed, larger portions of bone can be harvested from other areas of the mouth such as near where lower wisdom teeth are removed. This is called block grafting as they are small blocks of bone transplanted to an area that is deficient in bone. Frequently Piezosurgery, or ultrasound is used to obtain this bone in a very gentle fashion. Our goal is to do the least invasive approach to restore your jaw to function and appearance.