A bone graft is a dental procedure in which a piece of healthy bone is grafted to the jaw to take the place of a damage section of bone. This may seem like a serious procedure, but in fact it is a relatively common. It is used to treat bone that has been damaged by advanced periodontal disease and is often a necessary step before the installation of dental implants. Here is what you need to know about dental bone grafts. Where Does Bone for Grafts Come From? In the past, bone for grafts had to be harvested from elsewhere on the patient’s body, usually a thigh or hip. However, recent advances in medical science allow your periodontist to use harvested bone from another source. This may be sterile bone from a human donor, or animal bone that has been treated so it is safe for use in humans. Placing a Bone Graft The method for placing bone grafts depends on how much bone needs to be grafted. If a single tooth has been removed and there is very little bone loss, the graft often consists of granules of bone about the size of grains of sand that are packed into the empty socket before a replacement tooth is placed. However, larger sections of damaged bone generally require larger grafts. In these cases, the tissue of the gums or soft palate are lifted and pieces of bone are placed underneath them. In time, these pieces of bone attach themselves to the existing bone and begin to grow. The amount of time needed for a successful bone graft depends on the size of the graft and the patient’s natural healing ability. If you have had a tooth extracted, then you may need some degree of bone grafting before you can have a replacement tooth inserted. Dr. Paul Fotek offers bone grafting in Palm Beach Gardens, FL, contact us for a consultation today!