Just like natural teeth, dental implants also need to be attached well with the jawbone for most support and to last a longer time. However, loss of tooth eventually also leads to loss of bone, which may make it difficult for the dental implants to work. Hence, bone grafting is required to add more bone to your jaw and provide support to your dental implants.
What Is It?
Bone graft is a routine process which allows a new bone to grow in your jaw to support your implants better. The procedure is painless and involves making a small incision in your gum, exposing the bone underneath it, and adding grafting material to it.
The grafting material added, in most cases, is processed bone which deposits new bone cells around the old bone. It then, gets absorbed by the jaw and provides a room for the new bone to grow.
In most cases, the grafting bone, which serves as a scaffold, comes from your own body. In other cases, it could come from an animal or a human donor as well. In these cases, the grafting bone is processed to make it sterile and safe for the procedure.
These days, even synthetic grafting material in forms of powder, granules, putty or gel can be used. The bone graft, after the process, take some time to settle and grow a new bone. If the procedure is minor, you will ready for your implants in a couple of weeks itself.
Types of Bone Grafts
Bone grafting material is of different types depending on the source it comes from and how long does it take to process. Except autografts, all the grafting material is processed to make sure it’s safe to use so that an infection doesn’t happen at a later stage. Processing also eliminates the possibility of rejection by the body. Different types of bone grafts used in the procedure are:
- Autograft: The simplest and most common of bone crafts are autografts which involves taking bone from one part of the body and using it as a graft. The procedure involves making a cut at the place where the bone needs to be harvested from along with the place where it needs to be put up.
- Allograft: The graft here comes from a human donor and is harvested from their tissues. The graft needs to be processed in a laboratory and made sterile for surgery before use.
- Xenograft: Though rarely in use now, this grafting material comes from animals and is usually modified in labs before use. The material is mostly taken from the bone tissues of a cow.
- Alloplast: One of the more common methods these days is to use a synthetic grafting material, which can range from powder to granules. The material can also be injected into the jaw in the form of gel.
How the procedure works?
The bone grafting process is simple, and predictable with hardly any room for danger. The higher state of relaxation for the process is usually achieved by an oral anesthesia, which is local in nature. The anesthesia can also be given through IV sedatives, if need be. The procedure is then performed by making a small incision in one’s gum tissue which opens up the underlying bone for the surgeon to place the graft at. After the procedure, you may need to use some pain relieving drugs to combat the soreness in your mouth. However, the bone may take up to seven months to mature properly and provide enough support in your mouth for dental implants. Not only does this give the mouth enough time to heal and provide maximum support to the implants, it also reduces the risk of rejection to a minimum.