Sometimes a patient will come in and they have bone loss in portions of the jawbone. This can be caused by periodontal disease, and if some the bacteria will need to be dealt with before any grafting treatment can be considered. Also, when a tooth is removed, and the hole needs to be filled in, we can do a bone graft. For an individual extraction site, we do a ridge preservation graft. Sometimes, when a tooth has been extracted for a number of years, the bone can dissolve away, and leave a gap that needs to be filled in, as it will eventually compromise the adjacent teeth. In the upper jaw, the bone is less dense, and bone loss can make the wall between the sinus and the jaw ridge too thin is order to hold an implant, and the dentist needs to do a sinus lift.
The material used in bone grafts can come from various sources. There is artificial calcium that is almost chemically identical to human bone. Also, bovine bone powder makes a good material for a graft. Also, we can get human cadaver bone from the bone bank. And it is also possible for the dentist to harvest bone from the inside if the jawbone if the patient. The dentist will advise you of the options and benefits of each. The costs also vary according to the type of bone used.
A bone graft will usually take about 4 months to heal. Sometimes when there is enough bone to hold an implant in place, the dentist can do both the graft and place the implant at the same time.