Dental implants are a popular option for replacing missing teeth. What’s not to love about them? They can last for decades (possibly for a lifetime), they look and feel natural, they’re strong and permanent, and they can keep your mouth healthy and young-looking.
Unfortunately, not everyone qualifies for a dental implant. One of the requirements to get an implant is that the recipient must have plenty of bone under the gum tissue in the area where they need to place dental implants.
Have you ever been told that the bone in your jaw is too thin or weak for implants? This doesn’t mean that you have to give up all hope of wearing implants. But you needa bone graft for a dental implant.
What Is a Bone Graft?
Getting a bone graft means taking viable bone material from one source and transplanting it to another area in the body that has an insufficient amount of bone.
Bone grafting is often used in conjunction with dental implant surgery. People who have thin, soft, or weak bones in their mouths may need grafting in order to create a more stable foundation for dental implants.
How Getting a Bone Graft Affects Your Dental Implant Treatment
Dental implants are metal screws that fuse with the bone in your mouth. If you don’t have enough bone tissue in the spot where you want to get an implant, then a graft can strengthen that area and make it possible to stabilise a dental implant.
The grafting usually needs to be done well in advance of placing the implant. A bone graft is only a loose patch of material; it can’t hold a dental implant on its own. Once your natural bone tissue fuses with the graft and creates a rich and firm tissue, your implant dentist can perform the surgery for your dental implants.
Types of Bone Graft for Dental Implant
You might be wondering at this point: where does the bone for a graft come from?
There are actually several sources of bone tissue for grafting before getting dental implants. These include:
- Your own body, usually from your chin or hip bone
- Someone else’s body, a voluntary donor
- Animal source
- Cadaver bone tissue
- A synthetic bone graft material
Your implant dentist or oral surgeon will help you determine which kind of bone graft is best for you.
Bone grafts often consist of small granules. These look like sand, and they are neatly packed into a prepared surgical site or pocket in your bone tissue. For larger areas in need of huge pieces of bone, the oral surgeon will place entire sections of bone and then fill in the small spaces with bone graft granules.
Bone Grafting for Dental Implants: What to Expect
A bone graft procedure doesn’t take too long. You’ll be in and out in one day, and you will be sedated to the point that you won’t feel what’s going on. After the procedure, however, you will need to get lots of rest. It will take your body a while to heal around the surgical site and then start integrating with the bone graft.
Healing from a bone graft could take as little as a couple of months, or it could take more than a year. It depends on how fast your body can recover and on the size of your grafting site.
Once your jawbone has fully integrated with the graft and there’s plenty of bone tissue, you can now get dental implants.
Do You Need Dental Implant Bone Grafting?
The only way to find out if you need to undergo bone grafting before getting dental implants is to visit a Sydney dental implant dentist.