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Bone grafting

Periodontal disease stands out as the primary cause of bone loss within the oral cavity, although other factors such as poorly fitting dentures and facial trauma can also contribute to this issue. One effective method to address bone loss and stimulate natural bone growth is through the use of bone grafting procedures. Remarkably versatile and predictable, bone grafting serves a variety of functions, ranging from creating a stable base for dental implant placement to halting the progression of gum disease and enhancing the aesthetic appeal of a smile.


The following are different types of dental bone grafts, each catering to different needs and circumstances:

  • Autogenous bone graft: where bone is harvested from another part of the body and transplanted into the oral cavity. Common donor sites include the iliac section of the pelvis, the chin, and the posterior third molar areas of the jaw. For extensive grafting requirements, the hip or the shin bone (tibia) is typically utilized.

  • Allograft: a synthetic bone created in the laboratory or obtained from a bone bank (cadaver bone).

  • Xenograft: involves implanting bovine (cow) bone, which is proven to be safe and successful, offering an ample supply of bone without requiring a secondary donor site.

Indications for Bone Graft

1) Bone grafting becomes a compelling option for various reasons, including the need for dental implants. While implants are a preferred method for replacing missing teeth due to their restoration of full functionality, they rely on a sturdy anchoring to the jawbone for effectiveness. If the jawbone lacks the necessary quality or quantity of bone, bone grafting becomes instrumental in strengthening and thickening the implant site.

2) Additionally, a sinus lift, involving elevating the sinus membrane and grafting bone onto the sinus floor, may be necessary for securely placing implants.

3) Ridge augmentation, aimed at filling in ridges caused by trauma, injury, birth defects, or severe periodontal disease, also benefits from bone grafting.

What does bone grafting treatment involve?

The bone grafting treatment itself is a relatively straightforward procedure, typically performed under local anesthesia. However, if large amounts of bone need grafting, general anesthesia may be considered. Initially, the grafting material is prepared or harvested, and a small incision is made in the gum tissue, gently separating it from the bone. The bone grafting material is then placed at the targeted site. The bone regeneration process can be aided by various techniques, such as gum/bone tissue regeneration, the application of tissue stimulating proteins like Emdogain, and the use of platelet-rich growth factors to stimulate bone growth.

Placing bone graft after tooth extraction
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