If you’re hoping to improve your smile with dental implants, there’s a possibility that you might need bone grafting first.
In some cases, your jaw might not be strong enough to support your new dental implants. This is often due to the fact that bones can deteriorate as we age or due to disease or prior injuries to the jawbone.
About half of our dental implant candidates need bone grafting. Because we pride ourselves on a high success rate, we aim to reduce the chance of complications before they happen.
Here’s what you need to know about bone grafting for dental implants:
What is Bone Grafting?
Bone grafting is a collective term for repairing any type of bone structure using transplanted bone from somewhere else in your body. This is a common dental surgical procedure that is done in our office and ensures dental implants will have a strong foundation before we set the implants.
Patients need bone grafting when their jaw is missing bone. Your dental surgeon will insert grafting material into your jawbone. As your natural bone grows, it will absorb the grafting material and integrate it into your jaw.
In cosmetic dentistry, autographs that use bone from the patient’s shin, chin, or hip are typically used for dental implants. Prior to the bone grafting appointment, your dental provider will conduct a thorough review of your medical history, including any medications or
over-the-counter supplements you may be taking.
About the Bone Grafting Procedure
Has your dentist told you that you will need bone grafting prior to a cosmetic dental procedure? If so, you’ll be glad to know that you’ll be asleep for most of the process. All you really need to do is follow any pre-op instructions, show up on time, and follow the aftercare and healing guidelines.
Still, many patients feel at ease when they know more about the procedure. Here’s what a typical bone graft looks like once you go under anaesthesia:
Step 1: Bone Sourcing
Your dental surgeon will already know where they plan on sourcing the bone grafting material. They will extract the material by making a small incision and taking enough material to be used in the next step.
Step 2: Graft Insertion and Suturing
Your surgeon will make a small incision in the gum to expose the bone where the bone graft material will go. The material will be attached to the exposed bone, then the incision will be stitched closed.
Step 3: Healing
You should plan on having someone accompany you to your appointment so you can travel home safely. The use of anaesthesia may make it unsafe for you to drive. The procedure is done in a single visit and will require 4-6 months to heal. Your dental surgeon will provide specific care instructions and follow up with you after the procedure to ensure you’re on the right track.
Once your bone grafts are completely healed, you should be ready for the next step of your dental implant journey.
What Happens Next
Your dentist will provide you with a timeline that highlights every phase of the bone graft and dental implant processes so you can plan ahead.
After proper healing and care, you should be a prime candidate for dental implants. It’s an extra step in your journey to a new smile, but the payoff of a more confident appearance is well worth the wait.
Will you need bone grafting for your dental implants? Schedule a consultation with one of our dentists to learn more.