When a tooth is extracted from the mouth, a significant void or crater is created where the tooth once was. In addition, the bone surrounding the extraction site loses an average of 50% of its volume within twelve months. This loss of bone in the jaw creates complications for the adjacent teeth, the overall bite and the extraction site itself. This also hinders the restorative success of the missing tooth site, whether it is with a dental implant, a bridge or a denture.
Bone grafting is a procedure that replaces missing bone with a material called a bone graft. This material not only replaces lost bone but helps your body regrow new bone. The graft material is obtained from a bone bank. This donor material is processed and sterilized resulting in an almost inert, cell-free mass of bone chips. It is this pre-packaged material that we then place in the socket after the tooth is extracted. Over time your body’s own newly formed bone replaces the entire graft material. This natural new bone growth strengthens the grafted area by producing a solid, dense region of bone that will maintain the resiliency of the jaw and the neighbouring teeth. It is an easy, convenient and painless procedure that vastly improves the result of most if not all extraction procedures. Gone are the days when we would have to refer the patient to the hospital so that their own natural bone could be harvested from their elbow, jaw or hip under general anaesthetic! Nowadays, bone grafting procedures can be simply performed in the office, only adding about fifteen minutes to the whole extraction appointment.