1724 Broad Ripple Avenue, Indianapolis, IN 46220
12370 Olio Road, Fishers, IN 46037

Why do I need a bone graft?

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Why do I need a bone graft?

Bone grafts are used to preserve and maintain bone after an extraction.  When a tooth is removed the resulting socket will normally fill in with a clot and heal.  If there is infection, a problem with support or damage from an extraction, then a defect or bone loss may result.  Bone loss can happen over time as well.  Without the roots and the forces from the root, the bone will resorb over time.  A bone graft can act as a scaffolding to allow the bone generating cells to migrate and start building back bone.  The bone graft material also contains materials that the bone cells need to grow. When placing a bone graft at the time of extraction, the socket will be cleaned and the graft material will be placed immediately.  Sometimes a membrane or coating is added to help retain the graft material.

When there is a boney defect placing an implant may be impossible without and additional surgery.  Loss of bone can even make traditional bridges or crowns hard to fit or look unnatural. 

Bone grafts can also be used in cases of periodontal disease to help restore bone support and hopefully avoid extractions.

Does every extraction need a bone graft?

Quick answer - no.  If a replacement tooth is not going to be considered a graft is not normally placed.  When wisdom teeth are extracted the sockets are allowed to heal on their own without graft placement.

What are bone grafts made from?

Bone grafts are made from natural and synthetic materials.  Natural materials may include be from human sources (allografts) or from the species, typically bovine (xenografts).  Synthetic grafts are made from calcium phosphate materials, which are the building blocks for bone cells.  Whether they are from human sources, animal sources or synthetic sources, the grafts are sterile and do not contain any live cells.

How do I care for my bone graft?

Much like you would for a normal extraction.  You post-op instructions should include: avoiding chewing in the area, soft food diet, avoiding sucking actions and light brushing and rinsing for a period of time.  Many times you will have sutures in the area to hold the tissue and graft material in place.  It is also common to be prescribed an antibiotic.

At Martin Dentistry in Indianapolis we offer free consultations and can discuss your needs for bone grafting or dental implants.  There are several materials for grafting and your doctors will be happy to discuss your treatment options.

* All information subject to change. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.