When Is a Bone Graft Necessary?

Mar 09, 2023
When Is a Bone Graft Necessary?
Bone grafts shore up your jaw when it loses its natural density. Keep reading to learn why your jaw might be deteriorating and when a bone graft is the best solution.

A dental bone graft can be used when there isn’t enough healthy natural bone left in your jaw to function properly or withstand dental restoration procedures. It involves taking donor or synthetic material from another part of your body or an artificial source and surgically placing it onto the affected area in your jawbone. 

The new material helps to rebuild, reshape, and strengthen your jawbone. We specialize in bone grafting at Anna M. Munné, DDS, PA & ASSOCIATES in the Museum District of Houston, Texas, and we use it to address various conditions. Dr. Munné explains why you might need a bone graft and what to expect.

When is bone grafting necessary?

Bone grafting is a common treatment for jawbone loss due to age, disease, or missing teeth. The primary reasons you might need a bone graft are:

You need a solid, healthy jawbone to receive a dental implant because we anchor a titanium post in the bone to support the new tooth. You may also need a bone graft before getting implant dentures so that they’ll remain secure in your mouth.

Missing teeth may be the culprit behind your bone loss. Your jawbone relies on regular pressure from your teeth to stimulate new cell growth, so the bone in that area degrades when there’s a gap. 

Finally, severe gum disease can destroy your jawbone, causing loose teeth. 

Types of bone grafts

Depending on the problem we’re solving, Dr. Munné uses four types of bone grafts.

Sinus lift

Your sinuses are tube-like cavities that start at your nostrils and snake around your skull, allowing air and mucus to flow in and out. Part of your sinuses sit just above your upper back teeth, so if any of those teeth are missing, your sinuses may fall into the open space. In this case, you need a sinus lift. In preparation for a dental implant, Dr. Munné uses a bone graft to raise your sinuses back into their proper position.

Socket preservation

If you’re scheduled for tooth extraction, you’ll probably need a bone graft at the same time to preserve the socket and prevent the side walls of the vacant hole from caving inward.

Ridge augmentation

If you’ve been missing your teeth for a while, chances are your jawbone has lost density and become thinner. Dr. Munné can widen the space and add volume to your jaw with ridge augmentation, making future dental restorations possible.

Periodontal bone graft

If you have periodontitis that has compromised your bone tissue and caused your teeth to wiggle, a periodontal bone graft can stabilize your teeth and provide the support they need to stay anchored in your jaw.

Benefits of a bone graft

Having a dental bone graft restores the full use of your mouth by allowing for implants, bridges, dentures, or other restorations that aren’t possible without sufficient healthy natural bone remaining in your jawbone. Bone grafts also help prevent further deterioration or damage in your jawbone due to weakened areas caused by missing teeth or gum disease. 

But bone grafts do more than improve your jaw’s health and function; they also improve the overall aesthetics of your smile by helping fill out any sunken areas caused by missing teeth or gum disease.

The only way to know if a bone graft is necessary is to consult with Dr. Munné. After a thorough examination and X-rays, she can let you know if a bone graft can resolve your oral health issues. Contact us online or by phone to schedule an appointment.