Bone grafting is a surgical procedure designed to replace bone that has eroded where one or more teeth once were. With today’s medical technology, it is actually possible to re-grow bone where it once was. Many people who undergo this procedure do so to establish bone mass that is sufficient for supporting a dental implant. Since bone deterioration is a common occurrence after tooth loss, a patient may not qualify for prosthetic tooth replacement without first addressing bone deficiency. With bone grafting, it is now possible to establish prosthetic support by promoting new bone growth in the upper and lower jaw.
Did you know…
Dental implant retention after bone grafting carries a very high success rate?
In fact, research has shown implants to have a success rate of more than 98 percent. However, patients can still boost their chances of success by taking certain precautions. Most importantly, it is important to treat any pre-existing oral condition, such as gum disease, prior to undergoing a graft procedure. It is also important to avoid the use of cigarettes, as tobacco use has been linked with higher risks of bone graft failure.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where does the bone come from in a grafting procedure?
It is possible to use bone from one of several sources. The preferred source is your own bone, which is usually harvested from the chin, the back of the jaw or the hip. However, other options also exist. For example, you may opt for bone from a human donor or synthetic materials that stimulate bone growth without grafting.
Can you explain the bone grafting process?
You must first undergo a consultation with your oral surgeon to determine if you are a candidate for bone grafting. If you are in good health and your imaging scans reveal insufficient bone in the upper or lower arch, you may be qualify for grafting. During the procedure, the treatment area will be numbed and an incision made at the grafting site. The surgeon may also harvest bone at this time. The grafting material is placed into the treatment site, and the incision is closed.
How long do I have to wait before getting my dental implants?
For most patients, it takes several months for a bone augmentation to grow strong enough to support a dental implant. Though everyone is different, it is not uncommon to wait between four and nine months before qualifying for a dental implant.