What you need to know about bone grafts

Oct 28, 2020

Everyone has a right to a beautiful smile, and all patients deserve a dental expert that will take the time to answer questions and allay all concerns. No matter how long it has been since you have been to the dentist, modern techniques have advanced restorative capabilities. Whether you need a quick cleaning, or a complete reconstruction, treatments exist to help you achieve the smile of your dreams. Dentists often use a bone graft as the first step in reconstructive oral care. In this article, we will explore what you need to know about bone grafts.


5 Things You Need to Know About Bone Grafts

Your teeth and gums are highly resilient and, with proper care and treatment, can be rejuvenated for a younger, healthier look. Complete oral health care goes beyond the visible teeth and gums and includes the bone that supports and maintains your teeth. In certain circumstances, a jawbone can shrink or erode, and it’s necessary to build it back up before other restorative treatments can be performed.

 You can think of your jawbone as the foundation of a home. In order to build a sturdy structure, you must first ensure that the foundation is solid. A bone graft is a technique dentist’s use to ensure the success and viability of a dental implant.

1. Why Is a Bone Graft Necessary?

A variety of issues may result in bone loss in the jaw. The erosion of bone is a natural process that is not the fault of the patient. Factors that can lead to bone loss include trauma, gum disease, or developmental defects. A jawbone can also shrink as a result of a missing tooth. Before a new tooth can be inserted, the bone must be built back up to create a healthy, uniform look and provide a secure foundation for the implant.

If you are in need of dental implants, your dentist will evaluate the insertion point. A dental implant must be anchored properly to ensure the success of the restorative treatment. If your dentist concludes that the existing bone is not sufficient to anchor an implant, the situation can often be resolved through a bone graft. It is a common dental treatment that is a vital component of restoring your smile. The longer you wait to visit a dentist after losing a tooth, the more likely your dentist will recommend a bone graft.


2. Bone Restoration Is a Common Medical Treatment

It may seem odd to think of restoring bone in your jaw, but stimulating bone growth is common in medicine. Anyone who has experienced a broken or fractured bone anywhere in their body has gone through a treatment that utilizes similar bone growth concepts. Like most concepts in medicine, a bone graft helps guide the body to heal itself in a controlled way.

A dental bone graft is a safe procedure that is done in your doctor’s office. Treatments vary from patient to patient, but it usually takes between 45 to 90 minutes. After the dentist performs the treatment, the body can take anywhere from 3 to 6 months to create a solid bone mass that is completely fused with the existing bone.


3. Why Does Bone Loss Happen?

Remember that the human mouth is a complex environment that features several specialized processes. This is why dentistry is a separate but related field from the rest of medicine. The thickened ridge of your jawbone that holds your teeth into place is called the alveolar process or the alveolar bone. This bone has the job of supporting your teeth and keeping them firmly in place. If a tooth is lost, the alveolar bone begins to atrophy.

A successful implant requires osseointegration. Osseointegration is the bond between the living bone and the load-bearing structure of the implant. If there is insufficient bone in your jaw for the implant to bond with, you will not have a successful implant. Healthy bone allows for a stable, secure implant and a natural-looking final result.


4. Are Bone Grafts Painful?

The treatment is not painful. You will be fully numb and your comfort will be the primary concern of your dentist. The treatment varies depending on the needs of the patient, but it is usually done in-office at the same appointment your implant is placed. Once you are finished, you will be able to go home and resume your regular schedule with some minor instructions to follow. In some cases, pain medication is provided to help with any lingering discomfort. The treatment can be performed under sedation to ensure the comfort of the patient.

After the first few days of healing, there will be no pain for the patient during the months of healing that follows the treatment. Some patients will be prescribed antibiotics for a set time following the treatment. There will also be some diet restrictions that include only soft food in that area. After the treatment, you will return to your dentist in 3 to 6 months and he or she will determine if the bone is healed enough to progress to the next step of restoring the tooth.


5. What Are the Types of Bone Graft?

Everybody’s dental situation is different from the amount of damage to your body’s rate of healing. The good news is that there are a variety of methods for bone grafts that can be used to address a wide range of problem areas. Your dentist will explain the treatment that he or she feels is the most advantageous for you and ensure that you feel comfortable with the recommendation before going any further.

A socket graft can be used to prevent bone deterioration. This is the most common form of a bone graft and can often be done at the same appointment the tooth is removed and the implant placed. It still requires 3 to 6 months of healing before the placement of the final restoration. If there is more significant bone loss, a block can be placed by a dental specialist and fixed into position with titanium screws. This block then fuses with the existing bone, and the screws are removed.


The First Step Towards a Rejuvenated Smile

Many people mistakenly believe that there is no way to restore their smile. Modern restorative dentistry uses a variety of advanced techniques to help people achieve the look they’ve always wanted. If you have lost teeth due to Periodontitis, trauma, or any other reason, the bone in your jaw that holds your teeth in position begins to atrophy and shrink away. It is important to visit a dentist right away because there are many problems that develop as a result of bone loss. Loose teeth, bleeding gums, mouth pain, and even bad breath can develop as a result of bone loss.

It is always the responsibility of the care provider to ensure that the patient feels comfortable, has no anxiety about the treatment, and knows what is expected of him or her in the days following the appointment. A bone graft is a technique dentist’s can use to create a solid foundation for the insertion of a beautiful, and natural-looking implant. The treatment is not painful and takes advantage of the body’s natural healing ability to restore your appearance. If you want to schedule a consultation to see if you’re a candidate for dental restoration, contact South Central Dentistry today.