A dental implant is typically a metal post fused with the jawbone to hold a prosthesis on top. This tooth restoration method is getting more and more popular around the world as the most durable and effective choice – the replacement tooth is bound in place which looks and functions exactly like an original one. What if you don’t have enough bone in the jaw to hold implants? Getting a dental implant with bone graft can be a good option for you.

dental implant with bone graft

So what is a dental bone graft and is it the right thing for you? Let Sydney Dental explain the abcs of bone graft done in preparation for a dental implant right below.

dental implant

1. What is a dental bone graft?

A dental bone graft is a surgery where the surgeon takes bone tissue from a part of your body or a human or animal bone tissue bank to augment the jaw with bone loss. The graft can also be a synthetic material.

The patient may need several months for the grafted bone to regenerate before it can hold implants. Sometimes only a minor bone grafting procedure is required and it can be done at the same time of the dental implant surgery.

The patients can choose from multiple bone graft materials for their jawbone augmentation. These are all processed to minimize the risk of rejection and disease transmission, ensuring their perfect safety. Bone graft materials include:

  • Autograft. This is the most used material in a dental bone graft. Autograft means bone tissue is taken from a certain part of your body. It is also the only graft material that requires two surgical areas: one to take the bone tissue and another to fill it into;
  • Allograft. This is the name for bone tissue taken from human bone tissue bank that has been processed in the lab;
  • Xenograft. This refers to a processed animal graft material, usually taken from a cow;
  • Alloplast. This is basically a synthetic material.

2. When is it needed for dental implant treatment?

The dental care provider may recommend a bone graft if they think that you don’t have enough jawbone volume to hold dental implants in place. The reason behind this is the rigorous chewing in the mouth lays significant force on your jawbone that if it can’t hold the implant, the surgery is likely to fail. Essentially, the purpose of a bone grafting procedure is to provide a stable base for dental implants.

dental implant with bone graft
dental implant with bone graft

3. What is the procedure for a bone graft like?

Before a bone graft

Prior to a bone grafting procedure, the dental care provider will carry out an oral examination to know the state of your teeth, gums, and jaw. They will take X-rays or do scanning to determine the severity of your jawbone loss. Next, they will have a discussion with you about treatment choices and then give a treatment plan that is the most suitable for your condition.

During a bone graft

First off, the surgeon uses local anesthesia to numb the site up. Next, they make an incision into the gums and slightly move back your gum tissue to reveal the underneath jawbone. After cleaning and disinfecting the site, the dentist will fill the graft material into the affected area. Typically, the dentist will cover the surgical site with a protective membrane. Finally, the gum tissue is pulled back in place and then the incision is stitched closed.

Generally, the use of IV sedation is not necessary for a bone graft – a numbing medication should be enough to keep the patient painless. In cases when you are anxious about the surgery, the dentist may consider giving general anesthesia. This also applies to a more complex and invasive bone grafting procedure. Whatever the case is, always make sure to consult with your dentist about your anesthesia options. If IV sedation is preferred, you will need to arrange a family member or a close friend to give you a lift home after the surgery as you will feel dizzy and off-balanced for hours before the anesthesia completely loses its effect.

Following a bone graft

After a bone graft, it is not a rare thing for you to have mild pain, swelling, and bruising. These side effects should get better and go away on their own after a few days. During that time, discomforts can be managed with pain medications and the dental care provider may also give you some antibiotics to fight off infection. Keep in mind to take your prescription as directed.

Tiny fragments of bone can come out at the surgical area in the first couple of days. They look like grains of salt and are not a sign of anything serious. However, you can always call your dentist to make sure that your recovery time is going smoothly.

Healing from a bone graft

The majority of patients can return to their daily activities after 1 to 2 weeks. Full recovery, nonetheless, can take around 3 to 9 months or even more. The time needed for healing differs, depending on certain factors, including the type of the bone graft, the location of the graft in the mouth, and your genetic predisposition.

In most cases, you can return to your daily activities on the same day of the procedure. However, if general anesthesia is used, you may need to take a day or two off for home recovery.

dental implant with bone graft
dental implant with bone graft

4. What is the success rate for a dental implant bone graft?

Dental bone grafts typically have a very high chance of success. Even though a failed procedure is rare, there is still a risk, just like any other types of surgeries. Some risk factors, such smoking or underlying medical diseases can raise the risk of bone graft failure. A person with a failed bone graft may notice the following signs:

  • Worsening pain or swelling even after the first week following procedure;
  • Pus or fluids forming at the surgical area;
  • Receded gums;
  • Jawbone density is not improving.

5. A note from Sydney

Dental bone grafting can be a great solution to jawbone deterioration and hence, prevents tooth shifting and tooth loss. It also helps to improve your eligibility for dental implant surgery and other dental restorative methods. 

Hopefully this read has provided you with the basis of a dental implant with bone graft. If you would like to learn more about these two surgical procedures and your suitability, do not hesitate to reach Sydney. We are at 499-501 Ba Hat St, Ward 8, District 10, HCMC, Vietnam 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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