A bone graft is a surgical procedure used to increase bone width or height by transplanting healthy bone tissue. This is done before dental implant placement to provide a stable foundation for the implant. Bone grafting material can also fix bone defects or injuries.
At Strull Oral Surgery, we use bone grafting for dental implant surgery in many cases. If you are missing a tooth and are interested in getting a dental implant, please call our office for an oral and maxillofacial surgery consultation. We would be happy to answer any questions you have about the procedure.
Do dental implants require a bone graft?
If you are missing a tooth, one option is a dental implant. Dental implants are artificial teeth placed in the jawbone to act as a replacement for a natural tooth. A successful implant requires healthy bone in the lower or upper jaw. If you don’t have enough healthy bone, you may need a bone graft.
Bone grafting is often necessary when there is not enough healthy bone in the jaw to support a dental implant due to bone loss. If there is not enough bone, the replacement tooth may loosen and eventually fail, causing the loss of the implant.
A bone graft is also necessary when there is a significant defect in the bone. They can help fill in the defect and provide a stable foundation for the implant.
Bone grafting may also be recommended if you have a history of gum tissue disease or jawbone infection. These conditions can damage the bone and make it challenging to support dental implants.
How are bone grafts obtained?
The bone for the graft can come from another part of your body, such as your hip. This is called autogenous bone grafting. Autogenous bone grafting is the most commonly used type of bone graft.
Another option is allogenic bone grafting. Allogenic bone grafting uses bone from a donor. This type of graft is often used when there is not enough autogenous bone.
The third type of bone graft is xenografting. Xenografting uses bone from a donor animal, such as a cow or pig. This type of graft is not commonly used because it is not as durable as autogenous or allogeneic bone grafts.
Bone Graft Procedure
The bone graft procedure is typically done in the office setting and takes about an hour. The bone grafts are obtained from another part of your body or a donor, if necessary, and then placed in the implant site. Once the bone has healed, dental implants can be placed.
Before the Procedure
Before the bone graft procedure, you will need a CT scan or MRI of your jaw. This will help the surgeon plan the surgery and determine how much bone is required. You will also be advised not to eat or drink for several hours before the surgery. Once you arrive for your surgery, you will be given anesthesia to keep you comfortable.
During the Procedure
During the autogenous bone graft procedure, the surgeon will remove the bone from another part of your body. This is done by making a small incision in the skin and then removing the bone with a special drill called a trephine. The bone graft material is then cleaned and prepared for implant placement.
Once cleaned and prepped, the graft is placed in the site where the implant is needed. A temporary dental implant may be placed to keep the area open. The graft will need to heal completely before the final implant can be placed. This takes several months.
After the Procedure
After the procedure, you will need to take some time to recover. The surgeon will provide specific instructions on caring for the graft and what to expect post-surgery. It is essential to follow these instructions closely to ensure a successful recovery. You may experience some swelling and discomfort after the surgery. This is normal and can be managed with over-the-counter pain medication.
You should avoid strenuous activities for a few weeks after the surgery. It is also essential to keep the graft site clean and dry. You will need to rinse your mouth with salt water several times a day, brush the natural teeth around the graft site gently, and avoid brushing the graft site.
Once the graft has healed, you will return for a follow-up visit with the surgeon. At this time, the dental implant surgery will be performed.
Are you looking for an oral surgeon for a bone grafting procedure?
Our team at Strull Oral Surgery is here to answer any questions you may have about bone grafting and preparing for dental implants. We have two convenient office locations, one in Louisville, KY, and the other in Seymour, IN. Contact us online or via phone (Louisville: 502-896-4401 / Seymour: 812-519-2468) to learn more!