At the Tahquitz Dental Group, we believe that dental implants are the optimum solution for lost permanent teeth. There are instances, however, when our dentist advises a bone graft before proceeding with dental implant placement. (Unless you use All-on-4 which provides dental implants without the need for bone grafting).
When is Bone Grafting Necessary?
Bone grafting is a widely practiced procedure and is frequently associated with traditional dental implants. A bone graft serves to fill the void left behind by an extracted tooth, especially when the external bone wall is thin or too soft. This is especially necessary when a tooth was lost many years before. Ideally, the bone graft restores bone density and counters bone atrophy.
What Is Bone Grafting?
Bone grafting refers to the process of using bone matter to enhance the density of your jawbone.
The sources of grafting material include:
- Autograft: This graft is sourced directly from your body – often from another section of your jaw, your hip, or the tibia (the bone beneath the knee).
- Allograft: This entails using human bone from a deceased donor via a tissue bank.
- Xenograft: Here, the bone matter is derived from an animal, such as a cow.
- Alloplast (synthetic): This graft comprises artificial elements that are approved for human use.
Such materials undergo specialized lab processing to ensure sterility and safety. The bone graft material presents in diverse forms, like powder, granules, putty, or a gel injected through a dedicated syringe.
The Bone Graft Procedure
The process begins with a minor incision in the gum to reveal the underlying jaw bone. Next, the grafting material is applied. Often, the graft acts as a “scaffold,” with the body laying down new bone cells around the graft material. Over time, the graft is assimilated by the body and made part of the jawbone.
The bone grafting procedure typically requires local anesthesia and can be completed in a single visit. If you choose an autograft, there will be two surgical sites: the source of the bone and the deposit site. Any post-surgical discomfort is usually managed with over-the-counter anti-inflammatory pain medications and ice therapy.
While you recover fairly quickly after bone graft surgery, bone maturation might take several months. Once the jaw is adequately prepared, it’s poised to support an implant that not only looks, but also feels like a genuine tooth – designed to last a lifetime.Want to know more about bone grafting and dental implants? Contact our team today for a complimentary consultation.