Bone Grafting

What is Bone Grafting?

Within weeks following tooth extraction, the jawbone surrounding the missing tooth area starts to wither and is lost. This often creates a hole in the jaw appearance. In addition, often the surrounding bone tends to be of poor quality and quantity, unsuitable for the safe placement of dental implants.

Current bone grafting technology can in most instances not merely replace the lost bone, but also promote new bone growth in the same location. These techniques performed with extreme precision enable Dr. Novack to place implants of appropriate length and width to restore the functionality and natural esthetic appearance that had been lost.

Jawbone Loss and Bone Grafting for Dental Implant Placement

Gum-periodontal disease exceeds tooth decay or trauma as the primary cause of too loss in Canada.  It is the interplay between oral bacteria and our body’s immune system that establishes a state of chronic inflammation. The ongoing destruction of jaw bone support will overtime result in teeth becoming loose. Without effective periodontal specialty care, teeth eventually can be lost. When periodontal disease is diagnosed at an early stage, only limited permanent bone destruction has occurred. These are clearly the easiest and most predictable cases to manage. Fortunately today’s bone grafting techniques when effectively employed can restore teeth even when profound bone has been lost and thus help patients retain their natural smile. Dr. Novack’s approach has always been to treat conservatively and it remains his desire, wherever possible, to salvage a patient’s teeth. Technology continues to advance and Dr. Novack’s ability to salvage teeth that only a generation ago would have been deemed hopeless has meant that many of our patients are able to retain their teeth throughout their lifetime.

There however exist instances either due to trauma, decay or advanced periodontal disease, where teeth cannot be saved or have already been lost. It has been well established that once teeth are extracted, the surrounding jaw bone tends to whither quickly. This underscores the importance should a tooth have been lost recently, to schedule an appointment at Dr. Novack’s office as soon as possible.

Dependent upon the degree of trauma, the extraction protocol employed, the length of time that elapsed since the tooth was lost or in instances of advanced periodontal disease, the quality and quantity of bone may be so compromised as to prove unsuitable for the placement of dental implants. Fortunately, even in these instances, technology exists to regenerate lost bone where needed. These techniques not merely provide the opportunity to place implants of appropriate length and width, but also enable restoration of a functional bite and the esthetic appearance that had been lost.

Major Bone Grafting

Bone grafting techniques have progressed to the point that even areas severely lacking in bone due to previous extractions, gum disease, or trauma can today be successfully reconstructed. Dependent upon the specifics of your anatomy coupled with the prosthetic goals that you in combination with your restorative dentist have established, a bone graft obtained either from a tissue bank or your own bone (typically from an intraoral site) are employed to reconstruct your lost jaw support.

Major bone grafts are considered when profound jaw defects require reconstruction. Such defects may be present congenitally or arise as a result of trauma or serious disease. Historically, the only means available to manage such large defects involved harvesting the patient’s own bone. Various sites were considered depending on the size of the defect. The skull (cranium), hip (iliac crest), and lateral knee (tibia) represent common donor sites.  Such extensive surgical procedures typically are performed in an operating room and often require a hospital stay.

You will be reassured to know that Dr. Novack has close to 30 years experience in guided bone regenerative surgery.  He is able to manage all but the most extreme cases through conventional and highly predictable techniques performed in our dental clinic. The approaches Dr. Novack employs mitigate not merely hospitalization, but the common sequellae of extensive surgical therapy including pain, infection and the potential for disfigurement that may arise when non intraoral sites are considered.

The Importance of Teeth for Jaw Bone Health

Almost immediately after a tooth is extracted, the jawbone starts to wither. This withering of the jawbone can lead to additional problems affecting your overall health and appearance. You may experience pain, problems with your remaining teeth as they shift, drift and erupt into the gap created where the tooth was lost, altered facial appearance and eventually, even an inability to eat and speak normally.

In the same manner that muscles are maintained through exercise, bones are maintained through function. Our teeth are embedded in the jawbone and stimulate the jawbone through normal activities such as chewing and eating. When teeth are lost, the jaw (alveolar) bone that anchors our teeth in our mouth no longer receives the necessary stimulation and begins to wither. Our bodies are highly tuned and when sensing a tooth has been lost, the supporting jaw bone is perceived as no longer necessary and is resorbed.