Advanced gum disease is result of disease causing bacteria present on root surfaces and bone underlying gums. In cases of advanced disease, flap surgery is sometimes required to raise your gum tissue to gain access to underlying root surfaces and bone to remove these disease causing bacteria. Simultaneously, bone grafting can be done to encourage natural ability of body to regenerate bone lost due to disease.
Our jaws have the amount of the bone that they do is because of the presence of existing teeth and the fact that those teeth are under continuous function. Once teeth are lost for one reason or another, the jaws quickly atrophy to a level of what is called “basal bone”. In cases of a complete loss of teeth, this can leave behind only a narrow hoop of bone in the mandible (lower jaw) or a flat pancake of bone in the maxilla (upper jaw).
If much time has been elapsed since you have lost your tooth, there are chances that you have lost your bone during this time and bone grafting is required to rebuild your bone to accept a dental implant. A bone graft acts as a “biological placeholder” to mechanically prevent the collapse of the surrounding tissues, whether that is bone or soft tissue. Then, through a process called “guided tissue regeneration,” the human body is fooled biochemically to recognize the graft as natural bone and over time resorbs and replaces it with the patient’s own native bone.
Bone grafting in the oral cavity today is a routine, predictable and painless procedure. In most cases it is now relegated to small minimally invasive interventions that can be managed quite easily in an ambulatory (office) setting.