Getting a Bone Graft for Dental Implants

Bone Grafts

A bone graft is sometimes necessary when a patient wants to replace their missing teeth with implants but lacks the quantity of healthy bone tissue needed to do so. Bone loss is one of the many adverse results of having missing teeth.

When a tooth has fallen out, the jawbone tissue around its roots no longer receives stimulation when the person chews on things. The result, the bone tissue deteriorates because the body thinks it is no longer needed.

Losing bone tissue around the face can lead to a host of issues like changes to the person's facial appearance in time.

Fortunately, patients no longer have to deal with bone loss when a tooth is missing. Dentists can preserve and stimulate the formation of new bone tissue by performing a bone graft when a patient loses a tooth. Grafting also makes it possible for patients without healthy amounts of bone tissue to get dental prosthetics like implants.

How a bone graft works

The bone tissue used for a grafting procedure typically comes from the patient, a genetically similar animal, synthetic materials, or a human donor. It is up to the dentist to determine which source is likely to work best for the patient. Bone tissue from an animal or human donor undergoes a vigorous disinfection process, making it safe for use.

The grafted tissue acts as a platform for new bone tissue to grow on. Over time, the new bone tissue generated will eventually replace the graft material. The dentist might also opt to use collagen membranes to control the regeneration process.

There are several grafting procedures used by dentists. The approach used often depends on the severity of bone tissue loss, the location where the graft is to go and how soon the dentist performs the procedure after a tooth comes out.

When a dentist extracts a tooth, the usual option is to fill the site created by the missing tooth with the bone grafting material before closing up the person's gums. Immediately adding the grafting material helps to prevent bone loss and makes the future installation of implants easier.

In situations where the tooth has been missing for some time, the dentist will surgically cut through the gums and add grafting material to the jawbone before closing the gums back up. Patients typically receive local anesthetic during such procedures.

When the grafting site is the back of the patient's upper jaw, the surgeon may opt to use the sinus cavity as the grafting site.

What to expect after bone grafting

It is normal for patients to experience some mild discomfort after undergoing bone grafting. Taking over-the-counter painkillers like ibuprofen can help to manage any inflammation and pain. The dentist might also prescribe antibiotics to ward off infections.

Increasing the quantity of healthy bone tissue in a person's mouth makes it possible for him or her to access a wider range of dental restorative procedures like implants or implant-supported dentures. If you think you are a good candidate for bone grafting, contact one of our dentists today,

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