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Bone Grafting — Fighting Back Against Tooth and Bone Loss

Jan 09, 2024
Bone Grafting — Fighting Back Against Tooth and Bone Loss
Did you know that when you lose a tooth, the surrounding bone starts to disappear quite rapidly? Through bone grafting, we can not only stop this loss, we can also create a foundation for replacement teeth.

You lose a tooth (or we extract it) and you know you’ll be left with a hole in your line of teeth. Well, the loss doesn’t stop there. After you lose a tooth, you can also lose bone in your jaw — up to 30% within the first 12 weeks and up to 50% within a year.

This bone loss not only makes it difficult for us to replace the lost tooth or teeth, it can also jeopardize the stability of neighboring teeth, creating a cascading problem. And that’s where bone grafting can help.

At  Baton Rouge Perio, Dr. Barry Biner, Dr. Jenny Herman, and Dr. Kenneth Markle are periodontal disease experts, and they’ve seen their fair share of tooth loss. Whether the loss is new or old, we’ve had success with bone grafting, which can improve your oral health in several ways.

Preventing bone loss right from the start

One of the ways we use bone grafting is to prevent bone loss from occurring in the first place. After we extract a tooth, we can immediately place a graft in the socket, a procedure we call socket or ridge preservation.

We can use different types of dental bone grafts to do this, including:

  • Autografts — bone from your own body
  • Allografts — human donor bones
  • Xenografts — bone from animals
  • Alloplasts — synthetic bone

By immediately placing a graft in the newly empty space, we trick your body into thinking that the tooth is still there so it will continue to remodel bone in the area.

This is a great technique for setting the stage for a dental implant to replace your missing tooth.

Addressing old bone loss

If the bone loss has already occurred in your jaw after a tooth or teeth have come out, we can perform a ridge augmentation. This technique allows us to beef up your jawbone with bone grafts so that it can support replacement teeth, such as dental implants or dentures.

A sinus lift

Another way we can address bone loss is through a sinus lift. We use this technique if you have lost teeth in your upper jawbone and you want dental implants.

With a sinus lift, we place bone grafts in the sinuses that are located just above your jawbone in your lower cheeks (your maxillary sinuses). We place the grafts at the bottom of your sinuses and, once they fuse into place, it gives us more bone depth for dental implants.

Holding a tooth in place

If you have advanced gum disease that’s caused one or more of your teeth to loosen, we can perform a periodontal graft. With this approach, we add bone grafts around the loose tooth to provide more support and stability.

As you can see, there are many ways that bone grafting can play an important role in your oral health when you have missing teeth or advanced gum disease.

If you’d like to learn more about dental bone grafts and whether they might be right for your situation, we invite you to contact our office in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, to schedule a consultation.