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When is a Bone Graft Needed?
Dental implant surgery is one of the most integral aspects of periodontal treatment, allowing patients who may have lost their permanent (adult) teeth a chance to restore and rejuvenate their smile. However, in order to successfully place an oral implant, patients must have enough bone tissue to ensure a strong, secure connection between the implant and the patient’s jaw. For those individuals who may not have enough bone tissue remaining, bone augmentation is a critical step in ensuring the jaw is ready to successfully accept the implant and restore the patient’s dental structure.
Thanks to advances in modern technology, your provider will select a bone grafting technique that rebuilds bone structure safely and effectively while, if needed, creates ample space to accommodate dental implants.
What is a Bone Graft?
The loss of bone around the teeth, along with a general weakening of the bone structure in the jaw, leads to tooth loss. Bone grafting is done by the periodontist in order to replace lost bone tissue. The goal is to strengthen the weakened structure of the jaw while also encouraging new bone growth to start naturally. Bone grafting is a very adaptive procedure that can be very effective when it comes to oral reconstruction and maintenance for advanced periodontal disease. Bone grafting treatments can help provide enough support to install dental implants and can also prevent further tooth loss.
Types of Bone Grafts
Major Bone Grafting
Major bone grafts are used to repair defects in the jaw which are usually caused by traumatic injuries, tumor surgery, or congenital defects. Large defects are repaired using the patient’s own bone. If the jaw has a significant amount of deterioration, areas of bone harvest will be the skull, hip or lateral knee.
Minor Bone Grafting
Minor bone grafts are used to repair implant sites where a previous extraction has taken place or severe bone deterioration has resulted from injury or gum disease. The bone is obtained from a tissue bank taken from the jaw or larger bones like the hip. To replace bone in the upper jaw, sinus bone grafts are performed. Special membranes are sometimes used to dissolve under the gum to protect the bone graft and encourage regeneration.
Ridge expansions are performed when the ridge is reabsorbed and needs an increase in height or width. This type of bone graft is designed to restore lost bone dimension when the ridge is too thin to place an implant. With this procedure. The ridge of the jaw is expanded by mechanical means, allowing the bone graft to be placed and mature for a few months before the implant can be placed.
Benefits of Bone Grafting
- Rebuilds bone structure
- Creates a stable foundation for dental implants
- Can prevent further bone loss
- Safe and effective for most patients
- Preserves facial structure
- Improves candidacy for dental implants
How Long Does a Bone Graft Take?
Depending on factors, such as the location of the graft, how much boe needs to be grafted, and if there are other necessary procedures that need to be performed before the bone graft, bone grafting procedures typically take between 20 minutes-1 1/2 hours.
What to Expect During a Bone Grafting Procedure
Your surgery may be scheduled several months prior to dental implant surgery so there is enough time for the bone to heal. Thus, dental bone grafts are typically performed under local anesthesia or intravenous sedation so you can completely relax during your surgery.
Healing After a Bone Graft
Pain should subside within a few days after a bone graft, but it takes longer for the gum area and affected bone area to heal. Gums typically heal in a few weeks, but bone can take up to a few months to heal. Following your post-operative instructions from your provider will ensure you heal after your bone graft as quickly as possible.
Thanks to bone grafting, your worries about replacing lost teeth can be alleviated. This popular form of dental reconstruction is a safe and effective way to repair your smile. For more information about bone grafting near San Antonio, please call South Texas Smiles at 210-614-3898.