Bone grafting is often closely associated with dental restorations such as bridge work and dental implants. In the majority of cases, we can only place an implant with a minimum height, depth, and width of bone. When the jawbone has receded or sustained significant damage, the implant(s) cannot be supported on this unstable foundation and bone grafting is usually necessary to provide a platform for the implant.
There are several major factors that affect jaw bone volume:
- Periodontal Disease – Periodontal disease can affect and permanently damage the jaw bone that supports the teeth. Affected areas progressively worsen until the teeth become unstable. Bone lost due to gum disease does not grow back on its own and must be regenerated with grafting.
- Tooth Extraction – Studies have shown that patients who have experienced a tooth extraction lose 40-60% of the bone surrounding the extracted tooth during the following three years. Loss of bone results in what is called a “bone defect”. Bone grafting can prevent loss of the bone after a tooth extraction.
- Injuries and Infections – Dental injuries and other physical injuries resulting from a blow to the jaw can cause the bone to recede. Infections can also cause the jaw bone to resorb in a similar way.