What Is a Bone Graft? Exploring Bone Grafting for Dental Implants
If you’ve been considering a dental implant, you may have heard of bone grafts as part of the process. A bone graft is a procedure used to increase or add to the amount of bone in an area. In this blog post, we’ll explore what a dental bone graft is, why you might need one, and what to expect from the procedure.
What Is a Bone Graft?
A bone graft is a surgical procedure that replaces missing or damaged bones with new material, which can be taken from another area in your body (an autograft) or processed from a donor (an allograft).
Bone grafting stimulates healing, so your body will form new tissue around the graft material, making it part of your natural bone structure. Over time, the healthy bone graft and your natural bone will fuse and form a stable foundation for the jaw before dental implant surgery.
Why a Dental Bone Graft May Be Necessary
When considering dental implantation, the strength and stability of your jawbone are critical for success. A bone graft can add extra material to your jawbone or help repair existing damage to create a more solid base for implants.
The jawbone can become weakened due to a variety of factors, including:
- Tooth loss: If the tooth is lost or extracted, the jawbone structure begins to degrade and reabsorb back into the body. The longer a tooth has been absent, the more significant bone loss can take place over time
- Genetic factors or growth deformity
- Periodontal disease: When bacteria builds up and is not treated, it can destroy the bones and tissues that support the teeth
- Facial trauma: Trauma such as being hit in the face or getting into an accident, can cause damage to the bones and tissue of the mouth
Bone Grafting Procedure: What To Expect
The bone graft surgery is done using general anesthesia, IV sedation, or local anesthesia. During the procedure, your dentist will make a small incision in your gum tissue to access your jawbone. The graft material will be carefully applied to the area, and a membrane may be placed over the bone graft for added protection. The gum tissue is then repositioned and sutured.
It can take several months for your jawbone to fuse with the graft material, forming a solid base strong enough to support an implant post. Once you have fully recovered, you will be ready for dental implant placement!
Types of Bone Grafts
There are three common types of bone grafts:
- Ridge augmentation is used to restore the natural contour of the gums and jaw and replace any lost bone in areas where teeth are missing. Replacing this lost bone makes it possible to securely place dental implants without worrying about insufficient support.
- Socket preservation is used to prevent your jawbone from shrinking. It is similar to a ridge augmentation but is performed right after an extraction. Avoiding post-extraction bone loss improves outcomes with replacement solutions like implants and bridges.
- Sinus augmentations are used to add material to the upper back jaw, which is challenging due to the proximity to the sinus and the risk of insufficient bone quantity and quality. A sinus lift or augmentation raises the sinus floor, creating new space for forming new bone and allowing an implant to be properly secured.
What Is Recovery and Aftercare Like for a Bone Graft?
You will likely experience some swelling and discomfort at the incision site following your surgery. Your dentist may prescribe pain medication or anti-inflammatory drugs to help reduce any inflammation during recovery.
Follow all recommendations given by your dentist regarding diet restrictions and hygiene practices while recovering from surgery; these measures help ensure successful healing and prevent infection. Be sure to attend all scheduled follow-up appointments to monitor healing progress throughout recovery so that any issues can be addressed promptly.
How Do I Know if I Need a Bone Graft for Dental Implants?
Our periodontist Dr. Mike Bahman Norouzinia, DDS will evaluate your oral health condition before recommending any dental treatment, including implants. He will assess whether additional treatment, such as a bone graft, is necessary before implant placement surgery. Depending on your circumstances, X-rays or 3D images may be taken at this time so that Dr. Norouzinia can further evaluate the existing jawbone structure before scheduling any other procedures like grafting surgery.
Dental Implants Highlands Ranch CO
At Highlands Ranch Perio, we specialize in a number of periodontal treatments, including bone grafts and dental implants. Our team strives to work closely with each patient to ensure a positive experience that delivers long-term results.
If you are searching for dental implants in Denver, CO, or dental implants near me, contact Highlands Ranch Perio at (303) 683-1144 or complete the online booking form.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Long Does the Bone Graft Procedure Take?
The time it takes for a bone graft procedure depends on the type of graft and the complexity of the case. Generally, it can range from an hour to several hours.
Are There Any Risks Associated With the Bone Graft Procedure?
Yes, there are some risks associated with dental bone grafts. These can include pain, swelling, bruising, infection, nerve damage, and other complications. Discussing these risks with your dentist before starting the procedure is important.
What Is the Recovery Time for a Dental Bone Graft?
The length of time it takes to recover from a dental bone graft depends on the complexity and type of surgery being carried out. Generally, a successful healing process can take up to six months. Following your dentist’s post-procedure instructions is essential to speed up the recovery process.
What Should I Avoid After Bone Graft Surgery?
After bone graft surgery, it is important to avoid certain activities or foods that could disrupt the healing process, including things like vigorous exercise, using a straw, consuming alcohol, hard or crunchy foods, and smoking.
How Long Will My Bone Graft Results Last?
Bone graft results can last indefinitely with proper maintenance. Practice good oral hygiene habits such as brushing and flossing daily, avoiding cigarettes and other tobacco products, and visiting the dentist regularly for check-ups and cleanings. Follow these steps to help ensure that your bone graft results last many years