How Does Bone Grafting for Dental Implant Work?

How Does Bone Grafting for Dental Implant Work?

May 13, 2023

Whether you’re missing one or multiple teeth, dental implants are permanent options for restoring your bite function, oral health, and beautiful smile. A dental implant often consists of a titanium screw implanted into the jawbone to act like natural teeth roots.

Then, an artificial tooth (dental crown, bridge, or denture) is fitted over the implant to give it the feel and appearance of a natural tooth. Dental implants are the closest dental restorations to your natural teeth compared to other tooth replacement treatments.

Sufficient jawbone density is one of the key requirements for qualifying for dental implant surgery. The dentist or surgeon can recommend getting a bone graft if you don’t have sufficient jawbone to support a dental implant. In this guide, let’s learn what a bone graft is, why it’s necessary, how it works, and much more.

What is a bone graft, and why is it necessary?

Bone grafting involves adding new bone to your jaw to rebuild and strengthen it. The grafts contain unique proteins and collagen that stimulate and encourage bone growth. They increase the mass of the jawbone, creating a stable foundation for dental implants.

Sufficient jawbone bone mass is essential for successful osseointegration (the process in which the implant bonds or fuses with the jawbone). Without enough jawbone, osseointegration may fail, causing implant failure.

Getting dental implants right after losing teeth can help prevent bone loss and avoid needing bone grafts. Besides tooth loss, bone loss can be caused by other oral health factors like periodontal disease, oral trauma, and oral deformities. Visit our dental office near you for dental implants and bone grafting.

Types of bone grafts

Below are the four types of bone grafts, based on where the graft material is obtained:

  • Autograft. The bone graft materials are obtained from another part of your body, like the chin, hip, or back of the jaw. You undergo two surgeries: harvesting the bone material and placing the bone graft.
  • Allografts. The bone grafts are obtained from a human donor, mostly from a tissue bank.
  • Xenografts. The bone material is taken from an animal, commonly a cow, equine, or bovine.
  • Alloplast. The bone graft material constitutes artificial materials that chemically mimic human bone. Despite being artificial, they still stimulate new natural bone formation.

Bone Grafting: What to Expect

Before the surgery, our oral surgeon in North Brunswick, NJ, will administer an anesthetic to prevent any pain during the surgery. Then, they will clean and disinfect the area to prevent unnecessary contaminations. Next, the surgeon makes incisions through the gum tissue to expose the bone area that requires grafting.

The surgeon takes the bone graft material and places it onto the jawbone. The graft covers a membrane for protection. Lastly, the dentist prepositions the gums and closes the wound with stitches.

After the procedure, it takes 3 – 6 months for the jawbone to regenerate and rebuild sufficiently to support a dental implant. As you heal, following your surgeon’s instructions closely is essential to prevent infections and promote faster healing. The dentist will schedule follow-up appointments to check your progress and ensure you’re healing properly.

Once the bone graft has healed, the surgeon will schedule you for dental implant surgery. Once placed, you’ll also need about 3 – 6 months for the implant to bond or fuse with the bone. Lastly, the surgeon or dentist will place the abutment and crown to complete your dental implant treatment.

Bone Grafting Aftercare Tips

Like with any oral surgery, it’s normal to experience some side effects. After your bone graft surgery, you’ll likely experience minor gum swelling, bruising, bleeding, and pain. Below are tips for managing these symptoms and promoting faster healing:

  • Keep the gauze until the bleeding subsides (it takes about 30 – 45 minutes)
  • Take medication strictly as directed by your surgeon or dentist
  • Rest and avoid strenuous activities for 24 – 48 hours or until you feel comfortable. Keep your head elevated when lying down.
  • Avoid disturbing or touching the area.
  • Avoid vigorous rinsing or spitting.
  • Follow your dentist’s instructions about rinsing and brushing
  • Use cold therapy on the face to manage pain and swelling
  • For the next few days, consider a soft foods diet like mashed potatoes, avocado, vegetables, and scrambled eggs.
  • Avoid tobacco and alcohol products.
  • Visit our local dentist next to you or notify your surgeon immediately if you experience persistent or severe bleeding, swelling, pain, infection, or fever.

Learn more about dental implants in North Brunswick

Are you interested in dental implants, or have you suffered significant bone loss due to an oral illness or injury? KK Dental – North Brunswick to book a consultation with our North Brunswick dentist.

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