Bone Grafting


Two Types of Bone Loss


1) Bone loss due to periodontal disease:


Can be localized to one tooth or generalized bone loss can involve the whole mouth.  The inflammation and bone loss progresses down the root until the area(s) are treated.  As bone is lost, the stability of the tooth is affected.  An affected tooth may become loose, shift position, erupt out of the ridge, etc. 

Treatment involves elimination of the bacterial infection and inflammation.  Depending on the shape of the bone defect, various methods may allow regeneration of the lost bone.


2) Bone loss resulting from a missing tooth:


The bone at the location of the missing tooth is no longer stimulated by the tooth and the body responds to that lack of stimulus by resorbing the bone. This results in bone height and bone width loss at the site of the missing tooth. This phenomenon is called bone atrophy.  The greater the atrophy, the more challenging it becomes to reconstruct the bone height and width.


Treatment options are vast. Bone width can predictably be gained. Bone height gain is less predictable.


Another challenge occurs when a tooth is lost in the upper jaw or maxilla. Very quickly the area loses height and width of the ridge in the mouth AND the maxillary sinus above the tooth invades the area which once was taken by the tooth. The air cavity increases in size by expanding into the missing tooth site.


Treatment involves placing bone graft material into the area. This is called a Sinus graft or Sinus lift.  The process is extremely predictable and once complete; the area can then be used to place a dental implant in order to replace the missing tooth.