What Is Bone Grafting?

Through the process of dental bone grafting, tissue can be added to areas in the jaw that are suffering from bone loss. There are several different kinds of bone grafting procedures, and depending on your situation, the bone may be taken from your own body or acquired from a tissue bank.

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When Is A Bone Graft Needed?

When bone loss or deterioration has occurred in the jaw, a dental bone graft may be necessary. Bone loss can occur when a tooth has been lost or due to periodontal disease. 

The jawbone and the tooth root work together, and when a tooth is lost, the jawbone begins to reabsorb the calcium and materials from that area, leaving the jawbone weaker. In serious cases, this bone loss can even change the appearance of the face. 

Periodontal disease can lead to bone loss when the bacteria associated with gum disease goes untreated, as the bacteria can begin to eat away at the jawbone. 

Bone loss is a serious issue! It can lead to teeth becoming loose or even falling out, creating a cycle of worsening dental health. Bone loss can also make certain restoration procedures, such as dental implants, impossible to perform. 

For these reasons, a bone graft may be needed. By assisting new bone to grow, teeth in danger of being lost may be saved, and the jaw may be brought to a state of health that will allow the use of dental implants.

Types of Bone Grafts

Ridge augmentation

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A ridge augmentation is a type of bone graft often performed after a tooth has been extracted or when a tooth has been missing for a while. As we’ve explained, when a tooth is lost or removed, bone loss may occur. The ridge augmentation procedure can help prevent or reverse bone loss that would otherwise be associated with a dental extraction.

A ridge augmentation rebuilds the jaw and tissue to the state it was in before tooth extraction or loss and leaves you with a healthy jawbone that’s ready to receive dental implants if needed.

Sinus lift (augmentation)

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The anatomy of your mouth and jaw works together, so when one part is missing or damaged, other parts often move or shift. Similar to the bone loss that can occur when a tooth is lost, the maxillary sinuses can also shift into space once occupied by the roots of teeth. This shifting can make dental implants impossible, as the implants could pierce the sinus membrane.

To address this issue, your oral surgeon can perform a sinus lift to restore the sinus to the position it held before teeth were lost. Once the sinuses are in place, a bone graft can be used that, once healed, creates a foundation stable enough to accommodate dental implants.

How Are Bone Grafts Done?

Before any procedure begins, your oral surgeon will perform a complete assessment of your oral health, including an examination of your teeth, gums, and jaw. Diagnostic tools such as x-rays or other scans will be used to determine the severity and location of bone loss. Based on this information, our specialists will work with you to arrive at a treatment plan. 

Like other oral surgeries, bone grafts can be done in our office and begin with a local anesthetic. An incision is made and the bone graft material is placed where it is needed. Stitches may be necessary to close the incision in the gums, and then the healing process begins. It takes time for the body to incorporate the new material, and for new bone to grow — sometimes as much as several months. 

Our oral surgeons will make sure you have all the information you need to heal successfully and with minimal discomfort.

Post Op Instructions

Happy Patients

Dr Phan and Dental Assistant Jane were really Pros from start to finish. Jane was absolutely hilarious and very attentive, while also totally professional. Her and Dr. Phan made a great team and were able to solve my complicated wisdom tooth situation and always kept me informed of every risk before proceeding. Thank you!

Michael B.

Dr Beckstead is amazing. I had partial bone loss around one of my teeth and three dentists think that I won't be able to keep it, but Dr Beckstead performed one surgery and saved my tooth. It has been over two years since the surgery and I have not had any more issues with that tooth.

Lucy X.

I'm actually looking forward to my next prophylaxis. That's a teeth cleaning, and I never would have believed I'd say such a thing. I want to give a special shout out to Cindy, who did a fantastic job on my teeth AND gave me the tools and knowledge to nip gum disease in the bud. Have you ever heard of a Sulcabrush? I have one now, and it's awesome. Look it up.

David R.

Dr. Beckstead and his entire team are exceptional. They provided kind, informative and top-notch care every step of the way. My nerves were immediately calmed when I entered the office and I realized that I was in the caring and experienced care of true professionals. The procedure was flawless, the outcome was terrific and the entire process was pain-free (in every way!).

Tina R.

Enhanced healing with PRGF

Dental science and technology are constantly advancing, offering patients new and better resources to ensure successful procedures. 

The use of Plasma Rich in Grow Factors (PRGF) is one of those advancements. Research has shown that PRGF can improve the healing process by contributing to reduced pain, swelling, and inflammation. It can even speed up the process of tissue regeneration. 

PRGF is manufactured from a sample of your own blood, right in our office. That means your body easily accepts its application and also keeps costs down.

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20 First Street, Suite 200, Los Altos, CA 94022

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