Bone is a living tissue that naturally remodels at the rate of 0.7% per day. When we are healthy all of the bone cells in the body are replaced every 142 days.
A bone graft is a surgical procedure that replaces missing bone with material from the patient's own body or from a tissue donor's body or an artificial, synthetic, or natural substitute.
The graft not only replaces missing bone, but also helps your body to regrow its own lost bone. This new bone growth strengthens the grafted area by forming a bridge between your existing bone and the graft material. Over time your own newly formed bone will replace much of the grafted material.
Bone grafts can be needed when part of your jaw is missing bone. This missing portion of bone is frequently called a “bony defect”.
Examples of jawbone defects that may require bone grafting:
Defects which occur following tooth extraction
Generalized decrease in quantity of jawbone from trauma or long-term tooth loss
Defects resulting from cysts or tumor surgery
Jawbone resorption that results in painful or difficult denture use
Invasion of the sinus cavity into the upper ridges supporting dentures