What is a Bone Graft?
A bone graft is used to recreate bone and soft supporting tissues lost due to gum disease. It’s also called regenerative surgery.
Regenerative surgery is a treatment for the gum disease called periodontitis. People with periodontitis lose gum coverage and bone support around their teeth. Regenerative surgery regrows these lost tissues.
How is the procedure performed?
The goal of this surgery is to coax the body into rebuilding the bone and other structures that attach a tooth to the jaw. It is done by a periodontist, a dentist who specializes in diagnosing and treating gum disease.
First, the periodontist will separate the gums from your teeth to gain access to the roots and bone. The roots will be thoroughly cleaned. The holes (defects) in the bone will be filled in with a graft material. Then they will be covered with a physical barrier.
Bone grafting materials commonly used include bits of:
- Your own bone – Cadaver bone – Cow bone – Synthetic glasses
*Your own bone is best.
Barriers are used to cover the grafting material in the early stages of healing. They also prevent the gums from growing into the bony defect. Barriers are made from human skin, cow skin or synthetic materials.
After the graft is in place, the gums will be put back over the treated site and stitched into place. The site also may be covered with a bandage known as a periodontal pack or dressing.
During the next six to nine months, your body fills in the area with new bone and soft tissue. In effect, this reattaches the tooth to your jaw.