Bone is often thought to be unmoving. It is a common misconception that bone is a rigid material that stays in place. The truth, however, is that bone constantly remodels itself. New bone cells are generated and added, and your body then removes old bone cells.
The flexibility and maneuverability of the bone when it comes to your mouth is what allows dentists to be able to manipulate your mouth via functions such as braces. However, the downside to this is that your jawbone can atrophy or resorb when teeth are lost as you get older.
What is Bone Grafting?
Bone grafting is the process of growing new bone to best restore functionality and to be able to add bone where it is needed. Bone is extracted from an area that will regenerate the bone, typically from under your gums, but it can also come from your skull, hip, or lateral knee, depending on the amount of bone needed.
This bone is then boosted with a grafting material that will deposit new bone cells. The graft is treated as a scaffold, allowing your body to build new bone where it is much needed. The bone graft can then be utilized for various needs, such as reinforcement of the jawbone, saving teeth, or dental implants.
Bone grafting could potentially be done at your dentist office with local anesthesia but may require a hospital stay for a major bone grafting procedure.