Bone grafts, in a dental sense, are used for growing or building up the bone around an implanted device.
Often necessary for patients with missing teeth or edentulous cases, bone grafts encourage the regeneration of bone in the jaw to make it strong enough to be able to hold an implant.
Known as a pre-implant procedure, bone grafts can restore sagged facial appearances and return your mouth back to a healthy state.
Have you been told you need a bone graft or think you will need one? Get in touch with the experts, we’re based in Pinner, London.
Why you might not be able to escape having a bone graft
When it comes to replacing a missing tooth, dental implants can transform your smile and your life.
The incredible restorations are an advanced piece of technology that mimics the look, feel and function of natural teeth.
In fact, they are the most reliable missing teeth solution that comes the closest to replicating regular teeth.
However, to be placed, they need an adequate amount of jawbone. And unfortunately for many missing teeth cases, missing teeth and low jawbone density come hand in hand.
This often results in bone grafts becoming a requirement for many patients.
Fortunately, bone augmentation procedures exist and are used to restore the volume in your jaw and once again increase your viability of having missing teeth restored.
Quick answers to the most asked patient questions:
- How painful is a bone graft? Most of our patients who undergo a bone graft often report that the procedure was a completely pain-free and post-surgery report that pain is manageable with antibiotics.
- How long does a bone graft last? A bone graft will create results that will last a lifetime. However, the bone graft must have a minimum of four months of healing time to be strong enough to hold a dental implant.
- Is a bone graft worth it? A bone graft is certainly worth it for patients wanting to replace teeth lost to trauma, gum disease or extraction. Bone grafts will be essential in restoring the damaged bone in the jaw and building up to be strong enough to replace the missing tooth or teeth.
- How long does the bone graft procedure take? The procedure will take around 20-90 minutes. The length will depend on the location of the graft, how much bone needs to be grafted and whether there are other dental procedures that need to happen first, for example, tooth extractions.
Bone graft procedure steps
- Anaesthesia: As your operating dental professional, we will use a local anaesthetic to numb the surgical site. If you are an anxious patient, we can provide IV sedation too.
- Bone sourcing: We will begin to source the bone from the desired location if using an autograph – if you need a tooth extraction then we will also do this at the same time as combining the two encourages faster healing periods.
- Graft insertion: Next, we will carefully clean the area. From here, we will make a small incision to the gum tissue, which will expose the bone. Then, we will attach the bone graft material to the exposed bone.
- Stitching: Once we have put the graft material in place, we will suture the area to close it. From here, we might use pins, plates, wires, cables or even a titanium screw to hold the tissue together.
- Recovery: You might be able to return home the same day, but if you have had sedation, we will require you to be driven home by family or friends. Four to six months will be required for the site to completely heal and be strong enough for an implant.
- Aftercare: We’ll provide you with all the instructions you need to learn how to care for the area – you should follow these directions closely to prevent failure or complications.
Bone graft materials
For your bone graft, we can use several bone substitutes.
We can also use your own bone from another site – or at other times, we can retrieve bone from the hole created for the implant.
Other bone options include animal derivatives or synthetic bone. All of these options can be discussed with you at length during an implant consultation.
To find out more, call 020 8103 8541.