A lack of adequate bone or soft tissue can affect a smile’s aesthetics and create challenges in treating or health issues such as tooth loss and gum disease.
As such, bone or tissue grafting may be recommended in certain circumstances. This procedure involves taking bone or soft tissue from a donor site—often the chin in case of bone, the palate for soft tissue—and attaching to the site of insufficient material.
A bone graft can help a patient become an eligible candidate for dental implants. Those titanium devices are stable because they fuse with the jaw. However, if extensive bone loss has occurred, as it often does following tooth loss, patients will face a higher risk of dental implant failure.
Bone grafting can help to give these patients adequate bone to support the dental implant’s osseointegration. Bone grafting may also be appropriate in cases where the jaw defects affect the shape and support of the cheeks or lips.
Another problem addressed by grafting is receding gum tissue. This can occur as a result of periodontal disease. As it progresses, it exposes the underlying roots, making the teeth more sensitive. The effects of receding gums also include a longer appearance in the tooth, which can make the patient look older.
Bone or tissue grafting is done in a simple outpatient procedure, and many patients find that sedation dentistry is sufficient for a comfortable experience.
In gum grafting, the dentist uses surgical techniques to insert donor tissue at the graft site. Gum grafts can also benefit patients with unusually thin gum tissue.
Bone or tissue grafting is done in a simple outpatient procedure, and many patients find that sedation dentistry is sufficient for a comfortable experience. Patients should keep in mind that grafting can extend the overall treatment timeline for dental implants, as the dentist may need to wait for the graft to heal before placing the dental implants.
Depending on your case, you may benefit from bone or tissue grafting as one component of the overall effort to restore a beautiful smile. Discuss this option thoroughly with your dentist to address any concerns in advance of the procedure.