You need bone graft surgery – that statement sounds terrifying, doesn’t it? Well, anyone would be worried to hear from their dentist that their jawbone is not sufficient to support a dental implant.
But you’ll see there is nothing to worry about when you learn what a bone graft is. It’s a successful procedure which dental professionals do all the time. Here is all you need to know about bone graft for dental implant surgeries.
What Is a Dental Implant and Bone Graft?
A dental implant is an artificial replacement of a tooth’s root. It’s made up of metal, screw-like posts that are placed in the jawbone. The implants are then used to support artificial teeth, which look and work like real ones. This helps in replacing knocked out, broken, or missing teeth.
A bone graft is a surgery that helps restore lost bone. It’s necessary to have the right amount of bone in your jaw for successful dental implant surgery. If you have a low bone mass in the jaw, your dentist will take bone tissue from another body part and insert it in the jaw bone.
The process will ensure your jawbone has enough mass to support dental implants. Bone loss occurs because of untreated gum diseases, injuries, dental cavities, and infections.
The Dental Implant and Bone Graft Surgery
Bone graft for dental implant surgeries are performed in various stages. First, the dentist assesses the area where implanting will take place. It’s at this stage that they decide whether bone grafting is necessary.
If it’s imperative, the bone grafting procedure begins by determining the amount of bone needed in your jaw. The dentist then takes a section of bone from another area of your body – most likely the hip. Today, there are other special bone grafting materials that dentists can use.
They can also use alternative bone sources like getting bone from a cadaver or an animal. This saves the patient from having two wounds at the same time. After getting the bone, they graft it into the jaw and leave it to heal.
What Is the Expected Healing Time?
The healing process can take several months (about three to six months) to allow for enough and strong bone to grow. When it’s fully grown, the dentist now places the metallic dental implants into the jawbone. This may also take a few months to heal.
Finally, the periodontist will install the abutment (an extension of the dental implants) into the jaw before carrying out the artificial tooth installation.
What Happens After the Bone Graft for Dental Implant?
After the procedure, you can expect to experience minor oral discomfort. This includes gum or facial swelling, minor bleeding, or a little pain. But the problems will disappear fast.
You will be given some antibiotics to take home, and your dentist will put on you on some dietary restrictions. You’re only required to consume soft foods during the healing period.
Schedule an Appointment!
If you need to replace your damaged or missing tooth, contact us today for professional dental services. We’ll determine if you need a bone graft for dental implant; and if you do, advise you on the way forward!