When you lose teeth or have teeth extracted, it does not merely diminish the form and function of your smile. Over time, it can also cause the jawbone to atrophy. This loss of bone tissue may cause your remaining teeth to shift. It may also lead to undesirable changes in the underlying structure of the face, and it can make you ineligible for dental implants, cutting off your options for tooth replacement.

Fortunately, the issue of lost bone mass can be corrected through a surgical procedure known as bone grafting. We are pleased to perform bone grafting for our patients here at Minto Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery.

What is Bone Grafting?

Bone grafting is a surgical technique that allows us to address inadequate bone structure. Often, bone grafting is required due to previous tooth loss or dental extractions. In other cases, bone grafting may be needed because of underlying periodontal disease or even traumatic injury.

In a bone graft, your oral surgeon will obtain tissue from a tissue bank, or else remove a small portion of your own bone from the hip, tibia, or elsewhere on the jaw. This bone tissue is then placed in the treatment area, or implant site, where it is fused into place. The ultimate result is the growth of healthy new bone mass, replacing whatever tissue was lost due to tooth extraction or gum disease.

Generally speaking, bone grafts are performed to prepare a patient for implants. In some cases, however, we may perform bone grafts to correct issues, including the loss of upper jawbone, which can lead to complications with the sinuses.

Different Types of Bone Grafting

Depending on the patient’s needs, there are different kinds of bone grafts that may be required. When you join us for a consultation, we will be happy to explain these distinctions in greater detail.

Jaw Bone Health 

Your jaw bone requires constant stimulation in order to remain healthy; that stimulation comes from the tooth root. When you lose your teeth, you lose that stimulation, meaning that untreated tooth loss can have an adverse effect on the health of your jaw. Not only can this result in a sunken facial appearance, but it may result in pain or impaired functionality. A bone graft can help restore the jaw bone that you have lost.

Jaw Bone Loss and Deterioration 

The jaw bone may deteriorate for any number of reasons. It can happen when you have a tooth extracted and do not replace it promptly. It can happen as a result of untreated periodontal disease. It can even happen as a result of dentures or dental bridges, which can replace lost teeth but not necessarily tooth roots. No matter the cause of your deteriorated jaw tissue, a bone graft can offer restoration. 

Ridge Augmentation

Following a tooth extraction, many patients require a dental procedure known as ridge augmentation. The goal of this procedure is to recreate the natural contour of the gums and the jaw following the removal of the tooth; it may be necessary if the extraction also requires the removal of significant amounts of bone tissue. 

Sinus Lift 

Sometimes, the roots of your teeth may extend into the maxillary sinuses, which are located behind your cheeks and just above the upper teeth. If you have those upper teeth removed, it often results in just a thin wall separating the sinuses from the mouth. Placement of implants in this thin wall may be challenging, requiring the use of bone grafting. 

Nerve Repositioning 

The inferior alveolar nerve provides feeling to the lower lip and chin. To make room for lower dental implants, this nerve will often need to be removed. While this is considered to be a more extreme measure, as it may entail at least partial loss of feeling in the lower lip, it is sometimes the only way to proceed with a lower dental implant. We can walk you through different options that may be significantly less risky before recommending a nerve repositioning procedure.

Socket Preservation 

Occasionally, tooth extraction is required because the teeth have been badly damaged by disease. This degradation can extend to the socket, which is the bone holding the tooth in place, resulting in a deformity of the jaw. Socket preservation is a means of preventing or repairing this jaw deformity. We are pleased to provide this procedure to patients in Fairhope, AL. 

Meet Your Oral Surgeon

When considering your options for bone grafting in Fairhope, AL, make sure you schedule a meeting with Dr. David Minto. Dr. Minto has roots in the area and is pleased to serve the Baldwin County community as an experienced oral surgeon. When he is not treating patients, you can often find Dr. Minto saltwater fishing or else spending time with his wife and daughter. Get to know Dr. Minto by checking out his bio.

Are You a Candidate for Bone Grafting?

Generally speaking, bone grafts are recommended for patients who have lost a significant amount of bone density and who are considering additional oral health procedures (such as dental implants) for which ample bone tissue is required.

Some of the most common reasons for bone tissue loss include traumatic accidents, tumor removal, or tooth loss that has gone unaddressed. Additionally, the need for a bone graft can sometimes be anticipated among patients who are preparing for a tooth extraction.

The best way to learn whether you need a bone graft is to join us at Minto Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, where we can provide a one-on-one consultation and recommend treatment based on your needs.

Learn More About Bone Grafts

In many instances, bone grafts are required to prepare patients for further treatment or simply to help them avoid having a sunken facial appearance. At Minto Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, we provide bone grafts with an emphasis on patient comfort and safety. To find out more, schedule an appointment with schedule an appointment with Dr. Minto today by calling us at (251) 990-5959.