A common and often unknown side effect of tooth loss is bone deterioration. In fact, people may lose 40 to 60% of their nearby bone mass within 3 years after a tooth extraction. Oral cosmetic surgery such as a bone graft is often needed to help to rebuild the bone before dental implants can be used to replace the missing teeth.
What is a Bone Graft?
A bone graft is a procedure that helps to restore bone deformity to areas of the mouth that have experienced trauma, infection or gum disease. A bone graft can be used to:
- Stabilize the jaw bone before an aesthetic implant is placed
- Increase the height or width of a bone
- Fill in structural voids
- Correct existing deformities
Types of Bone Grafts
Typically, there are 3 general types of bone grafts:
- Autogenous – your own bone, collected from the chin or jaw
- Allograft – synthetic bone or bone from a bone bank
- Xenograft – bovine (cow) bone
The type of bone used depends on your surgical needs and comfort level. Almost always, the best choice is an autogenous bone graft. Your individual case will vary based on the complexity of the surgery and certain personal factors. Recently, introduction and use of bone morphogenic protien (BMP) and stem cells which stimulate your own bone to regenerate and grow have received considerable attention and interest.