If you have a dental problem and are planning to get dental implants, you may have to undergo bone grafting. Bone grafting may sound like a strange and scary dental procedure because many people are not familiar with it. However, grafting is a regular dental procedure, which is not only predictable but also painless. Bone grafting may be necessary if you do not have a healthy and sufficient amount of natural bones in your mouth to support dental implants. Northridge Dental Implant Center offers both dental implant and bone grafting to help restore your beautiful smile.

Bone Grafting for Dental Implants

When you lose your tooth or several teeth due to an injury, periodontal gum disease, or any other oral infection, a dental implant will come in handy. An implant provides a long-term and safe solution to tooth loss. A dental implant refers to an artificial tooth root that an experienced dentist inserts into your jawbone. The implant then helps to hold dental bridges or replacement teeth in place.

Your replacement teeth will look and function like your normal teeth after completing the process of inserting dental implants. A dental implant provides adequate support to a tooth, and the tooth will not have to rely on the neighboring teeth for support. Therefore, dental implants help to preserve the adjacent teeth.

Placement of dental implants is a surgical procedure. A dentist starts by removing the damaged tooth and then prepares your jawbone for surgery. At this point, the dentist assesses the condition of your jawbone. If you have suffered immense bone loss, bone grafting may be necessary. Bone grafting helps to replace and regenerate lost bone. The procedure may also come in handy in restoring your proper facial contour.

It is common for bone loss to occur after losing your tooth due to decay, rot, or trauma. Your jawbone will begin to deteriorate, and this will make it incapable of supporting dental implants. A bone grafting procedure will help to create a robust, sturdy base for the placement of a dental implant.

Some of the leading causes of the inadequacy of natural bones include development defects, facial trauma and injury, gum disease, and gaps after tooth removal. Bone grafting procedure aims at repairing and rebuilding the jawbone through transplantation of the bone tissue. The transplantation of healthy bone helps to recreate and support the missing tissues in the jawbone.

Bone Grafting Procedure

Bone grafting procedure entails removing a piece of bone from another part of your jaw or body. Your dentist then transplants the bone into your jawbone. With the advancement in dentistry, your dentist may acquire the bone from a cadaver source or an animal source and use it to restore your jawbone.

There will be less morbidity for you by acquiring the transplantation bone from another site other than your body or jaw. The dentist will not have to create a second surgical site on your body, and the procedure will be just successful. After your dentist transplants the new bone to your jawbone, it may take some time for the new bone to grow enough to support dental implants.

You have to wait for the jawbone to heal before the dentist can continue with the implant process. The dentist will start by placing dental implants made from titanium into your jawbone. After placing the titanium implant, you may require several months for the jawbone to heal.

After your jawbone fully recovers from the placement of dental implants, your dentist will place an abutment. An abutment refers to an extension of the dental implant’s metal post into the jaw. After placement of the abutment, you may still have to wait for a while for the soft tissue to heal. After healing, the dentist takes molds of your teeth and your jawbone. Your dentist can finally proceed with the insertion of the final tooth or several teeth.

The Right Candidate for Bone Grafting

Anyone who may have lost one or more teeth may be a good candidate for bone grafting before the placement of dental implants. Even though you intend to acquire dental implants immediately after losing a tooth or several teeth, bone grafting may be part of the procedure. Bone grafting would be necessary if your tooth socket has an infection. The tooth you lost may also be the inappropriate size for supporting immediate tooth replacement.

Most people are not able to seek teeth replacement services immediately after tooth loss. A person may fail to seek immediate tooth replacement due to logical reasons and due to financial reasons. However, as you stay with a missing tooth, your jawbone continues to wear out.

After tooth loss, the alveolar bone starts to wear out. The alveolar bone serves one primary purpose; to support and hold your teeth. Therefore, if there are no teeth, the alveolar bone will start to wear out automatically. The loss of the alveolar bone leads to jawbone loss. The jawbone builds up and becomes stronger whenever you use your teeth to chew. Therefore, tooth loss and loss of alveolar bone may lead to a speedy loss of the jawbone.

For the dental implant to be effective, they have to fuse and bond/fuse with the jawbone. This bonding helps the implants to provide a firm foundation for replacement teeth. The bonding process is known as osseointegration. After the loss of the alveolar bone, it becomes almost impossible to place the dental implant.

Some people may not require undergoing bone grafting before the placement of dental implants. The only way to know whether you need bone grafting is to schedule a consultation with your dentist. During the consultation, your dentist will find out if you require bone grafting. The dentist will also determine the ideal form of bone grafting for you.

Types of Bone Grafts

Your dentist may choose from the various forms of bone grafts available. The type of graft the dentist chooses will depend on where the missing tooth is situated. The nature of the tooth damage you have also undergone matters. Your dentist may discuss the ideal type of graft to ensure that you understand, and you are okay with the procedure.

Socket graft is the typical form of bone graft. The graft comes in handy in preventing atrophy of your alveolar bone from maintaining the bone's soundness. Your dentist will place a bone acquired from another person right into your tooth socket. The placement of the bone in the socket prevents the socket from collapsing. After undergoing this socket graft, you may have to wait for four to six months before you are ready for dental implants. The main advantage of the socket graft is that it minimizes the after-pain associated with implant surgery.

Your dentist may also go for a lateral- ridge preservation graft. This type of graft comes in handy in expanding your jawbone. Increasing the jawbone’s width, this helps it to embrace the dental implant. In most cases, dentists use bones obtained from human donors for this form of bone grafting. The lateral ridge preservation graft will take between 4-6 months to heal before your dentist places the dental implants.

A dentist may also recommend the block- bone graft. This may be the ideal bone graft if you have extensive or large defects/damage in your jawbone. Your dentist may acquire a small chunk/block of bone out of the posterior of your jaw to perform this form of bone graft. The dentist will put the block in the jawbone's defective area and then use titanium screws to hold the bone in place. The block- bone dental procedure will take between four to six months to recover before the dentist can place dental implants.

If you need upper jaw dental implants, your dentist may recommend the sinus lift dental procedure. For this procedure, an equine bone will come in handy in expanding the graft. Your dentist may use the equine bone alongside a human donor's bone. This dental procedure is important if you require dental implants in your upper jaw, and your jaw is not firm enough to support dental implants.

Equine bone is popular in bone grafting because it offers unique benefits. Unlike human bone, the equine bone does not dissolve quickly. Therefore, it provides a long-term solution to bone loss. The other advantage of equine bone is that it is similar to a human bone microscopically. By using an equine bone alongside a human bone, the equine bone provides a scaffold, which promotes additional/further growth of the bone in your sinus. The sinus lift procedure may require a longer healing period before the insertion of dental implants. You may have to wait for your jaw to heal after a sinus lift procedure for eight to twelve months.

Benefits of Bone Grafting

The use of bone grafting in dentistry helps to achieve several dental health goals. Some of the leading advantages of bone grafting in dentistry include:

Saving Your Teeth

When you suffer severe periodontal gum disease, bone loss may occur around the infected area. Bone loss may weaken your teeth and pose the risk of tooth loss. Regenerating the bone around the weak teeth through grafting can help to save your teeth. Grafting helps to improve bone support and helps to keep your teeth in place.

Immediate Placement After Tooth Extraction

A dentist can place bone grafting into your tooth socket with significant advancement in dentistry immediately after the removal of your tooth. By doing this, bone loss will not occur due to the missing tooth. If you want to replace your tooth in the future with a dental implant, your jawbone will be intact.

Provides a Base for Dental Implants

Dental implants require good volume and density of jawbone for proper functionality and success rate. If you have experienced bone loss, bone grafting will help to regenerate the jawbone. Bone grafting makes people who would otherwise not be a candidate for dental implants qualify for implants.

What to Expect

When placing a bone grafting, your dentist may use local anesthesia. Your dentist may also use oral or intravenous sedatives to help you relax and minimize the chances of experiencing discomfort. The dentist will make a small incision in your gum tissue. This incision allows the dentist to gain access to the bone that will receive the graft.

After surgery, you may experience minor discomfort in the affected area. You can manage any pain or discomfort you experience using over-the-counter pain medication. The discomfort will fade away after a few days. In most cases, the discomfort may wear off after one or two days.

After undergoing bone grafting, you will have to wait for several months before you can undergo implant placement. Over the next few months, your jawbone will regenerate as your body replaces the graft with its bone. This process will help to reverse the bone decline you may have experienced.

After undergoing the bone grafting dental procedure, the dentist may give you antibiotics to help prevent infection. Your dentist may also give you pain medication, which you can take if you experience any pain in the treated area. Healing from a bone grafting treatment is a simple procedure, and if you take antibiotics and follow your dentist's directions, you will not experience any complications.

Your dentist cannot place the dental implants until the bone graft fuses with your natural bones in your jaw. This process may take several months. However, it is important to note that every person is different, and no exact healing time exists for the procedure. The healing period may vary from one person to the other. The healing period may vary between three months and one year, depending on the extent of bone loss and the location of the missing tooth or teeth.

You may have to make regular visits to the dental office during the healing process. During the visits, your dentist will examine the site of bone grafting and determine the healing progress. You may have to go for a regular dental check until the dentist is satisfied that you have fully recovered and can undergo implant placement.

Pain During Bone Grafting

Many people expect bone grafting to be painful, mainly because they do not understand the grafting procedure. However, you may be surprised to learn that bone grafting is not a painful procedure. The dentist uses local anesthesia, and this eliminates any likely form of discomfort. You will be sedated throughout the grafting process.

You should not experience any pain during the healing process. It is normal to experience mild discomfort, which you can manage using over the counter pain medication. The healing process may take several months before you are finally ready for the placement of dental implants.

Is Bone Grafting Safe?

Typically, there are no safety concerns regarding bone grafting, especially if the grafting material is coming from your body. However, removing the grafting material from your body may be disadvantageous because it creates a second surgical site.

To avoid creating a second surgical site, your dentist may use mineral bone substitutes obtained from human or animal bone. The substitutes do not pose a risk of infectious disease transmission. Before using the substitutes, they undergo vigorous safety screening to ensure that they are safe. Both the human and the animal bone substitute offer similar benefits because they undergo thorough processing in reputable tissue banks.

Dentists only use proven, extremely safe graft materials. You should also know that mineral graft materials do not remain in your body forever. Over time, your body naturally absorbs the mineral graft material and replaces it with your bone.

Can your body reject the graft material? No, your body cannot reject the bone graft material. The material does not contain living or genetically coded material but only minerals. The primary concern is how much bone your body is going to regenerate in response to the graft. If your body has not generated enough bone by the time the graft heals, your dentist may consider adding more grafting material. The dentist may add the additional grafting material at the time of placing the dental implant.

After Bone Grafting

After bone grafting, you need to follow several procedures to ensure that the graft does not fail. It is important to start by understanding the composition of bone graft. Your bone graft usually comprises numerous particles. Therefore, several days after surgery, it is normal to find several particles in your mouth. This should not be a source of alarm. Some of the graft material will come out from the site, and this is normal.

The dentist will place a white covering over the bone graft after the surgery. This covering is temporary and aims to protect the graft. Within the first week after the surgery, this covering will fall off. Therefore, you should not panic when this covering comes off.

It is advisable not to vigorously spit or rinse your mouth within three to five days after the bone grafting procedure. Within the first 48 hours after the surgery, you should rinse your mouth gently. It is advisable to use warm salty water to rinse your mouth after meals and before going to bed.

After the surgery, you should avoid applying pressure on the surgical site. Therefore, you should not use your hands or your tongue to apply pressure on the surgical site. The application of pressure on the surgical site may disrupt the healing process and displace the bone graft.

After the surgery, you may feel tempted to lift or pull your lip to look at the sutures. However, it is not advisable to do this because it may cause damage to the surgical site. It may tear out the sutures, and this may slow the healing process.

Ensure that you follow all the instructions offered by the dentist during the healing process. It is also advisable to ensure that you do not smoke. Smoking will dry out the tissues, and thus delay the healing of the surgical site. Smoking during the healing process may lower the success of bone graft procedure.

The Cost of Bone Grafting

The cost of bone grafting may vary from one person to another, depending on certain factors. The cost will depend on the condition of the patient's jawbone. The typical cost for a simple bone grafting procedure may range between $300 and $800 for a single implant area.

The cost of bone grafting may be higher if the dentist uses your bone material sourced from another part of the body. While sourcing the grafting bone from another part of your body, hospitalization will be necessary, which will increase the cost. The grafting procedure may require an orthopedic surgeon and an anesthesiologist, and this will raise the cost.

In most cases, your dental insurance may not cover bone grafting. You should consider the type of dental insurance that you carry. Consider if your dental insurance covers procedures like bone grafting and dental implants. Different insurers have different terms; some insurance companies may cover bone grafting and dental implants, but some others do not.

Signs of Failed Bone Grafts

It is important to understand the signs of bone graft failure. This makes it easy to know if your bone graft has failed to seek prompt dental care. One of the leading signs of bone graft failure is an infection. You should contact your dental care provider if you notice an unusual pain or swelling in the surgical site. Your dentist will take an x-ray of the surgical site to determine whether the graft has failed. If bone graft failure is extensive, it may no longer be appropriate for the installation of dental implants. Smoking increases the chances of bone graft failure. A bone graft is also likely to fail if you have diabetes.

Find an Implant Dentist Near Me

Dental implant and bone grafting are extensive surgeries. Only a certified dentist should perform these treatments due to their delicate nature. After bone grafting, you will have to wait for several months before the placement of dental implants. With an experienced dentist, nothing will go wrong. Northridge Dental Implant Center offers reliable implant and bone grafting services. Contact us at 818-925-9181 and speak to one of our experienced dentists or set up an appointment today.