Dental implants are artificial teeth bound to your jawbone using screws to hold a crown or bridge in place. Bone grafting for dental implants This restorative method is extremely effective and durable as the replacement tooth is securely attached to the jawbone and looks similar to the original one. However, to be eligible for this procedure, the patient needs to have enough jawbone to support the dental implant. 

bone grafting for dental implants

The surrounding jaw bone will almost immediately start to reduce over time. What if you don’t have enough bone to hold the implant? There’s your savior called the bone graft. So what is it like and is it something for you? Let Sydney Dental explain all about it for you.

Dental implant

1. What is bone grafting?

A dental bone graft is a procedure conducted to give your jaw more volume and density where the bone loss has taken place. The graft may be taken from your body or purchased from a human or animal tissue bank. The grafting material can be synthetic as well.

2. When is it needed for a dental implant?

If the jawbone is too weak and thin, you may need a bone grafting procedure before you are qualified for a dental implant surgery. This is because the aggressive chewing of the mouth imposes great force on your bone, and if it fails to hold the implant, the surgery is not likely to succeed. The bone graft helps give a stronger support for the dental implant.

A few bone graft materials are available to restore a jawbone, such as a natural bone graft taken from another location of your body, or a synthetic bone graft, like a bone-like material that can give support for new bone. It is best for you to talk to your dentist about the pros and cons of the options so you can make the final decision.

Several months may be required for the grafted bone to grow sufficiently to hold an implant. In some cases, only a small bone graft is needed and that can be carried out at the same time as the dental implant procedure. 

3. How does a bone graft work?

After being placed, the bone graft will hold space to do its job of repairing the jaw. This means the bone graft is like a root from which your natural bone tissue can start to regrow and regenerate.

The dentist may mix a bone graft with platelet-rich plasma which is taken from your blood to speed up the healing and tissue regeneration process.

bone grafting for dental implants
bone grafting for dental implants

4. What are the types of bone graft material?

There are a series of bone graft sources used to augment the jawbone for dental implants. They are all prepared or processed so that there is no risk of rejection or disease transmission, making them perfectly safe to use. These materials include:

  • Autograft. This material is among the top choices in patients opting for a bone graft. It basically means taking bone tissue from one area of your body. It is also the only type of material that requires two surgical sites: one to harvest the tissue and one to place it in;
  • Allograft. It is taken from human bone tissue bank that has already been laboratory-processed;
  • Xenograft. This grafting material comes from an animal, usually a cow;
  • Alloplast. It is basically an artificial material.

5. How is the bone graft performed?

A bone grafting doesn’t require sedation – just local anesthesia is enough to make the patient comfortable. After numbing the area well, the dentist will create a small cut in your gums. They will move your gum tissue to the side a little to reveal the jawbone underneath. Next step involves cleaning and disinfecting the site. Then the dentist will add the grafting material to repair the area. Most of the time, the dental care provider covers your bone draft area with a membrane to protect it better. Lastly, the gum tissue is brought back to the original place and the incision is stitched shut.

6. Will there be any pain from the dental bone graft?

Most patients who have received this surgical procedure say they experienced almost no pain in the process. Be sure to properly take all the prescription medications and follow your post-surgery instructions as given by your dental care provider. 

However, as a small cut has to be created for an access to the jawbone, patients may feel some soreness post-surgery. This soreness can be helped with non-prescription anti-inflammatory medications, pain killers, or ice packs following the procedure. 

7. Post-grafting and the subsequent implant surgery

Even though you can totally go back to your routine activities, the body may need up to 7 months for the jawbone to regenerate before the dental implant can take place. This healing time prepares you well for the subsequent implant surgery for your desired result: optimal support for the artificial teeth which are natural looking and durable.

Once the healing of the jaw bone is completed, the dentist will proceed with the intended dental implant. First they will position a dental implant post into the recovered jawbone. This step may also require a few months as the healing time.

When the healing is finished, the dentist will place the abutment which is an extension of the implant post into your jaw. Once again, the soft tissue affected will need some time to heal. After that, impressions of your teeth and jawbone are taken to make the artificial tooth to be attached on top of the implant. 

8. What will happen following the dental implant?

Whether you undergo the implant surgery in one stage or more stages, it is possible for you to have some comfort that is not an uncommon thing for any of the dental procedures, namely:

  • Swelling in the gums and face;
  • Bruises in the skin and gums;
  • Pain in the implant area;
  • A little bleeding.

You may want to take painkillers or antibiotics following an implant surgery. If any problem, like light bleeding or discomfort, worsens after days post-surgery, reach out to your dental provider.

After each phase of implant, you may want to go with soft foods as the implant site heals. The surgeon will usually use stitches that disappear on their own. If the stitches aren’t disappearing on their own, the dentist will remove them.

The dental provider will provide you with a comprehensive post-surgery set of instructions. They will also prescribe you some antibiotics to keep infection away. You can do the following to minimize the risk of experiencing discomfort and soreness after procedure:

  • Take medications exactly as directed by the dental provider;
  • Refrain from exercise and heavy lifting for at least 72 hours because a fast heart rate can elevate the level of pain and swelling;
  • Chew foods with the other side of the mouth. If you have had implants on both sides, have soft foods for a couple of days then go back to your normal diet little by little according to what you are comfortable with;
  • Brush and floss your teeth thoroughly on a daily basis;
  • Keep the implant area clean as instructed by the dental provider.
bone grafting for dental implants
bone grafting for dental implants

9. What you need to keep in mind about bone grafting

Dental implants and bone grafting are surgical procedures. For your safety, these surgeries have to be handled by a team of certified, well-trained experts at a reputable dental clinic equipped with standard facilities. 

Therefore, always go with experienced specialists for your bone grafting as well as dental implants. Bone grafting may be a rather invasive procedure and a bit time-consuming but you will find that the result way outweighs the cost: you will have an amazing smile that will draw everyone to you!

10. A word from Sydney Dental – your trusted provider

Hopefully we have successfully presented to you the abcs of dental bone graft that is done in preparation of a dental implant to restore tooth loss. If you would like to find out more about either of the two options and your candidacy, do not hesitate to reach us Sydney Dental. We are at 499-501 Ba Hat St, Ward 8, District 10, HCMC looking forward to your visit all along. You may also call us at (028) 3504 9440 for a free no-obligation comprehensive consultation. Your pretty, shiny smile is 100% guaranteed at Sydney Dental!

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