Bone grafting procedures restore bone that has been lost or diminished because of missing teeth or other facial conditions. Our oral surgeons offer bone grafting procedures at our state-of-the-art surgical facilities in Los Angeles, CA, and Bakersfield, CA. Many patients who want dental implants (hyperlink) must have a bone grafting procedure first to replace the bone beneath the dental arch. In the past, implant placement was impossible if too much bone loss had occurred, but advances in bone grafting processes have made it possible for many people to receive secure, permanent dental implants.
The Bone Grafting Procedure
Bone grafting procedures can sometimes be done at the same time as a dental extraction or other procedure to make the process as efficient as possible. In general, a bone grafting procedure involves placing bone graft material in areas where the bone is too sparse. The bone graft material consists of tiny granules of bone suspended in a gel. The bone granules can come from another part of your body or a tissue bank.
There are a few types of bone grafting procedures, and depending on your condition you may need one or more of the following:
- Sinus lift. Sinus lifts add bone above the upper molars to make sure the wall that divides the sinus and the oral cavity is thick enough for implant placement.
- Socket preservation. Socket preservations preserve the bone around an empty tooth socket after an extraction. Sometimes the oral surgeon can place the bone graft at the same time the tooth is extracted to reduce the number of procedures for the patient.
- Ridge expansion. When teeth are missing for a long time, the bony ridge that holds the teeth can become too small to support dental implants. A ridge expansion increases the width of the alveolar ridge to make space for implants.
- Nerve repositioning. The nerve that gives feeling to the chin and lower lip runs beneath the molars on each side of the jaw. Dental implants and other procedures can risk damaging this nerve if there is not enough bone above to protect it. Sometimes oral surgeons can move this nerve aside and hold it in its new position using a bone graft, but this procedure is usually avoided when possible.
- Major bone grafting. Major bone grafting and tissue regeneration procedures are used to fix defects of the jaw that were caused by injuries, tumor surgery, or birth defects. Usually, bone is taken from the patient’s body for more extensive procedures, and a protective membrane may be used to protect the graft while it heals.
Some major bone grafting procedures require an overnight stay in a hospital or care facility, but most of these procedures can be done on an outpatient basis.
Bone Grafting at Los Angeles Center for Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery
If you need a bone grafting or dental implant procedure, our staff in Los Angeles, CA, and Bakersfield, CA, can help. Contact one of our offices to schedule a consultation with an oral and maxillofacial surgeon. Our surgeons will thoroughly review your condition before recommending your treatment options.