Fixing Deficient Jawbones

When a patient does not have enough jawbone for a dental implant, bone grafting is an effective solution offered by the Sacramento Dentistry Group.

The jaw loses bone for a number of reasons:

  1. If a tooth is lost, over time the bone in that area of the jaw recedes. Bone grafting allows for a future implant or preserves the jaw structure.
  2. If a patient has gum disease, especially when left untreated, the periodontitis can lead to bone loss. Other forms of infection can also reduce jawbone stability.
  3. Damage to the jaw from an accident or genetic defects may leave insufficient bone for implants.
Bone grafting is available from the oral surgeons at the Sacramento Dentistry Group.

Materials for bone grafts are carefully produced and maintained.

Materials for Bone Grafting

There are four different types of material used for bone grafting. Graft material may come from just one or a combination of these substances during a single procedure.

  1. Autograft – also known as autogenous bone grafting, this procedure takes bone from one part of the oral cavity (typically the chin) and transfers it to where it’s needed. This procedure heals the fastest and has the highest success rate, since it uses your own bone for the process.
  2. Allograft – uses material from cadavers. You may think of this as similar to an organ donation and the donated material is bone. Tested and rigorous sanitizing and sterilizing processes allow your body to absorb and utilize this material without the need for immunosuppressive drugs. This also prevents any possible infection from the cadaver material. There has never been a recorded case of a patient receiving a disease from material used for an allograft.
  3. Xenograft – also called a xenogenic bone graft. This material comes from cows. Like the allografts, the laboratory processing of the material makes it usable for the patient’s jaw, even though the base substance comes from another species. Given many of our patients’ eating habits (beef is often what’s for breakfast, lunch and dinner), this method is easily accepted.
  4. Alloplast – or an alloplastic bone graft. This graft procedure uses synthetic materials that are designed for and accepted by the human body.

The type of material used depends on the patient and their circumstances. When large amounts of graft material are required, a strictly autogenous graft is usually not possible without surgery in a hospital to remove bone from the patient’s hip or shin. Since most patients want to avoid a hospital visit, the other three grafting choices are usually preferred or are used to supplement an autogenous bone graft.

The Bone Graft

Bone grafting can be completed during a single visit to the Sacramento Dentistry Group. Afterwards, an autograft takes four to six months to complete, while other forms of grafting take up to nine months or more before the jaw is ready for implants or further work. A membrane is often attached to the jaw to ensure the development of bone instead of soft tissue during the grafting process. In addition, temporary bridges or specialized dentures may be used for the patient in the interim.

A Major Type of Bone Graft — Onlay Grafts

Filling the hole left by a single extracted tooth is rather simple, using any of the methods discussed above. For larger grafts, to repair jaws damaged by deterioration or accident, onlay grafts are used.

We choose from three sites for onlay graft material: your chin, ramus (the back of the jaw) or hipbones. A fairly simple procedure takes small amounts of bone from these areas and transfers it to your jaw, usually to be temporarily held in place with bone screws. After the graft has healed and fused with your jaw, dental implants are usually installed.

Sedation Dentistry and Bone Grafts

The Sacramento Dentistry Group does its best to provide you with a relatively pain-free, comfortable experience during all of our dental procedures, including bone grafts. If a bone graft is necessary, but sounds intimidating, why not consider the benefits of sleep dentistry in connection with this procedure? The dentists of the Sacramento Dentistry Group do their utmost to answer your questions, handle your concerns and give you the best appearance and dental health possible with the least amount of worry or anxiety.

Success Rates

Bone grafting is nearly always successful. While bone grafts do fail on occasion, even when autogenous bone is used, the fault almost always lies with preventable problems, such as infection, smoking or specific medical conditions. Every step is taken to consider these circumstances before our dentists attempt to add bone to your jaw. The goal of any bone graft procedure is a better jaw, a better smile and better dental health for you!

Schedule Your Free Bone Graft Consultation