Bone Augmentation and Bone Grafting

What is a Bone Augmentation?

Bone augmentation, also referred to as bone grafting, is a procedure typically needed when the current bone mass of your jaw is not suitable to successfully incorporate dental implants. Luckily, in this day and age, our doctors are able to grow bone where it is needed. When bone mass is too thin or soft to keep an implant in place, a bone augmentation will help so the bone can fuse to the dental implant and keep it secure. If a dental implant is placed in the jaw where bone structure is not sufficient, the likelihood of an implant failing increases.

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Reasons For Bone Augmentation

The number one reason for bone augmentation surgery is bone loss. The bone in your jaw maintains its health through the constant motion and pressure of chewing. Because of this, a missing tooth or multiple missing teeth that are left unreplaced will cause the bone in your jaw to break down and resorb. Even if a tooth has only been missing for one year, 25% of the bone has already been lost within that short time. To avoid bone loss, replacing the lost natural tooth with an immediate dental implant is recommended. Other causes of bone loss that are not as common, include misaligned teeth, gum disease, infection, and tumors in the face.

Illustration of a tooth socket before bone augmentation
BEFORE: Bone Augmentation

When a tooth is missing, loss of bone may occur at the site of that tooth, enabling surrounding teeth to shift.

Illustration of a tooth socket during bone augmentation
DURING: Bone Augmentation

Fortunately, when bone loss occurs, our doctors are able to pack the site with bone particulates.

Illustration of a tooth socket after bone augmentation

The particulates will heal into the existing bone to create adequate bone density for a dental implant.