The term dental bone grafting may sound intimidating to most patients, but it is a common, safe, and effective procedure. Bone graft surgery is necessary to replace and regenerate lost or insufficient healthy jawbone while restoring proper facial contour. It is typically performed as a precursor to support dental implants for missing teeth due to trauma, decay, or injury.
Patients who have lost a tooth may require a dental bone graft and should consult a dentist or oral surgeon immediately. The longer it takes to address this, the more bone loss will occur, resulting in a more complex procedure.
So what does dental bone grafting entail? Traditionally, the process involves removing a piece of bone from another part of the patient’s jaw or body and transplanting it into the jawbone. Alternatively, bones can be sourced from a cadaver or animal source. These options prevent a second surgical site and are just as successful.
After this procedure, it may take several weeks or even months before the transplanted site grows enough new bone to support the actual placement of a dental implant. Once the jawbone heals, the oral surgeon will place the actual implant.
The type of bone that is gradually lost is called the alveolar bone. This bone has just one job…supporting and holding your teeth. If there is no tooth, the alveolar bone begins to atrophy due to a lack of work. In addition, the jawbone is strengthened every time you chew. So, alveolar bone loss results in jawbone loss as well.
Types of Bone Grafts
There are several types of bone grafts and the type used depends on the extent of damage the patient suffers as well as the location of the lost tooth or teeth. Some common dental bone grafts include:
•Socket graft: This graft has the primary purpose of preventing the atrophy of the alveolar bone before it can occur. During this procedure, the surgeon will place bone from a human donor right into the socket to prevent its collapse. After a socket graft, the patient will typically be ready for dental implant surgery about 4 to 6 months after the dental bone graft procedure. This type of graft minimizes post-operative pain from the implant surgery.
•Lateral ridge preservation graft: This graft is used to increase the width of the jawbone to accommodate a dental implant. Human donor bones are most commonly used for this type of implant. This type of graft procedure takes about 4 to 6 months to heal.
•Block bone graft: This is necessary when there are large defects in the jawbone. To perform this kind of dental bone graft, a small block of bone will be “harvested” from the back of the jaw. The block will then be placed into the defect and held it in place with small titanium screws. This procedure also takes about 4 to 6 months to heal.
•Sinus Lift Procedure Graft: Bovine bone may be used for this graft, which can be added to the bone of a human donor. Bovine bone is used because it is similar to human bone but does not dissolve as quickly. Bovine bone creates a kind of “scaffold” that supports the growth of additional bone in the sinus. This procedure is typically carried out when the patient needs an implant in the upper jaw which is not stable enough to support an implant on its own. Because of the complexity of this procedure, healing typically takes 5 to 8 months.
What is the bone graft procedure like?
A dental bone graft procedure is not at all painful. It is typically performed on an outpatient basis and patients have the choice to be sedated throughout the entire process. Also, patients typically feel very little pain during the healing process and when the graft is done, they will be ready for dental implants. A bone graft is simply the first step to take before enjoying a new, beautiful smile.
The surgeon also needs to monitor the bone graft to ensure it fuses with the natural bones in the mouth. Because each patient is different, there is no timeframe for how quickly this can happen. In fact, it is quite common for the bone graft to take anywhere from three months to an entire year to fuse with the natural bones inside the mouth. Patients will need to come in for regular check-ups until the dentist decides that the patient is ready for dental implants.
At Harbour Pointe Oral Maxillofacial & Advanced Implant Surgery, we perform both major and minor bone grafting. We will treat each patient holistically as an individual and will recommend a type of bone graft as well as the kind of procedure that is right for them.
At Harbour Pointe, we understand the intricacies of dental bone grafts and have the ability to promote new bone growth where and when needed. This not only helps us place implants of proper length and width but also restore functionality and aesthetic appearance.
So if you’ve lost one or more teeth and need to consult a dentist and oral surgeon, consider consulting with Harbour Pointe. We will work with you to make the dental grafting procedure as seamless and painless as possible. After all, we always put our patients first.
For more information about dental bone grafts and other dental procedures and solutions, consult Dr Brian Hart and Dr Kathleen Isdith at 425-353-1009 or at firstname.lastname@example.org or go to our website https://www.harbourpointeoralsurgery.net for more information.