Grafting replaces lost bone tissue and encourages natural bone growth. You might require a bone graft to provide a stable base for dental implants, stop the progression of gum disease or to enhance your smile.

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Bone grafting is a fairly simple procedure done under local anesthetic, or IV sedation may be recommended. The grafting material is harvested or prepared for insertion. Then a small incision is made in the gum, which is gently separated from the bone to allow the grafting material to be inserted.

Common types of bone grafting include:

  • Autogenous: uses bone taken from your body (pelvis, chin, molar, jaw areas) which is then grafted into your mouth.
  • Allograft: uses synthetic bone or material from a bone bank.
  • Xenograft: uses cow bone, eliminating the need for a secondary donor site.

Bone grafting may be the best option for restoring the jawbone to allow for:

  • Dental implants: grafting strengthens weak areas of your jawbone to allow implants to be firmly anchored.
  • Sinus lift: bone is grafted onto the sinus to raise the sinus membrane, again to allow for secure placement of implants.
  • Ridge augmentation: trauma, birth defects or severe periodontal disease can cause ridges in the jawbone; grafting fills in the ridge and creates a uniform shape.
  • Nerve repositioning: occasionally with implants, the nerve that allows feeling in your lower chin and lip must be moved, sometimes requiring a bone graft.
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