Chances are pretty good that you have heard the phrase dental implants tossed around a few times, even if you don’t know much about what they are. Bone grafting, on the other hand, is a much less commonly known phrase. This is a touch on the ironic side because bone grafting and dental implants often go hand-in-hand in the dental industry.
In this optimal tooth-replacement system, a small titanium post embedded in the jawbone is attached to a highly realistic dental crown, permanently replacing the missing tooth. Implants require good bone volume and density to achieve their excellent functionality and high success rates. If you have already experienced bone loss, a graft can help regenerate enough bone to place the implant successfully.
If you are a dental patient who might be getting dental implants, it is important to keep in mind that it is fairly normal to be told during a consultation that bone grafting for dental implants surgery might be necessary. It is also normal for you to be scared. After all, bone grafting just sounds scary. Fortunately, this is not a procedure you need to be afraid of. It is a regular dental routine that is both painless and predictable.
Bone grafting is a technique that is required when a patient does not have a sufficient amount of healthy natural bones in his or her mouth that are capable of supporting the dental implants. This
deficiency of natural bones can be caused by:
Bone grafts are used in dentistry to accomplish the following treatment goals:
There are a variety of sources of bone grafting material used for preserving or augmenting bone for dental implants. All of these bone grafting materials are backed by significant research. They are processed (except autografts, which do not need processing) so that they are safe to use, eliminating the potential for rejection or disease transmission.
Your doctor will perform a complete medical history and physical examination before your surgery. Make sure you tell your doctor about any medications, over-the-counter drugs, or supplements you’re taking.
You’ll most likely be required to fast before surgery. This is done to prevent complications while you’re under anesthesia.
Your doctor will give you complete instructions about what to do in the days before and the day of your surgery. It’s important to follow those instructions.
The procedure for placing a bone graft usually requires only local anesthesia, though oral or IV (intravenous) sedatives can also be used to achieve a higher state of relaxation. Since a small incision is made in your gum tissue to gain access to the bone that will receive the graft, you may experience some soreness in the area after the surgery. This can usually be managed by over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication and/or pain relievers, as well as ice therapy after the procedure. Any discomfort should only last a day or two. Then, over the next several months, your body will replace the graft with its own bone, reversing the decline in bone quantity you have experienced.
Bone grafting, normally a minor surgical procedure done in the dental office, is used to build up new bone in the area of your jaw that used to hold teeth. Most often, the grafting material is processed bone that serves as a scaffold, around which your body will actually deposit new bone cells. The grafting material will eventually be absorbed by your body and replaced by your own new bone.
The grafting material needed can come from a variety of sources. Sometimes it comes from your own body. Very often, however, it is bone from an animal or human donor that is processed by a laboratory to make it sterile and safe. Grafting material can even be synthetic. It comes in a variety of forms: powder, granules, putty or even a gel that can be injected through a syringe.
No! Of course, the only way to know if you’ll need a bone graft is to schedule a consultation. During the consultation, you’ll find out if you need one and if so, what type of bone graft is needed
Not at all! They are an outpatient procedure, and patients are typically sedated throughout the entire process. You shouldn’t feel any pain as the graft heals, and, of course, when the graft is done you’ll be ready for your dental implants. A bone graft is simply the first step most people will have to take before they’re ready to enjoy their beautiful new replacement tooth.
After the procedure has been completed, you’ll be given antibiotics to prevent infection. In some cases, pain medication is given as well. Most patients who receive bone grafts are completely pain-free and do just fine as long as they take the antibiotics.
Your dentist also has to wait for the bone graft to fuse with the natural bones that are already in your mouth. Unfortunately, your mouth is different from everyone else’s and there is no exact time frame for how quickly this happens.
It is not uncommon for it to take anywhere from three months to an entire year for the bone graft to fuse with the natural bones inside of your mouth. You will come in for regular checkups until your dentist decides you are ready for the implants.
What you’ll be able to eat the first few days after your bone grafting surgery will depend on the complexity of the procedure. Some patients should be placed on a cold diet while others will be limited to warm soft foods.
When a modified cold diet is recommended after your surgery the following food-drinks will be allowed: Chilled blended soups or other thoroughly blended cold foods (that don’t require chewing), fruit or veggie smoothies, milkshakes, juices or other healthy beverages.
When a modified soft food diet is recommended after your surgery, the following soft foods will be allowed: Cooked cereals, scrambled eggs, pureed fruits, pudding, mashed potatoes.
Common restrictions and advice for recovering bone graft patients;