A bone graft is commonly necessary when a person is getting dental implants but their jaw bone has resorbed and is no longer strong enough to support an implant.
What causes bone loss, resulting in the need for bone grafting?
- Once a tooth is lost or extracted, bone naturally resorbs (or shrinks away) if left untreated. When the bone isn’t holding a tooth in place, the body automatically believes it doesn’t need the jaw bone and the bone starts to disappear.
- If a patient has sustained an injury that has caused damage to their jaw bone, such as an accident or fall.
- Dental trauma, such as persistent grinding and clenching teeth, can cause excess wear on the tissue supporting tooth structure.
- Periodontal disease can cause bone to disintegrate which can lead to tooth loss. The bacteria slowly eat away at the jawbone and periodontal ligament, which connect teeth to bone.
- Congenital diseases that cause patients to have less jaw bone than normal.
How do I know if I need a bone graft?
A CT scan provides detailed images of your bone. Your surgeon will read the scan to determine if bone grafting is necessary.
Does bone grafting hurt?
Your surgeon will discuss sedation and anesthesia options to make you as comfortable as possible throughout the procedure.
How long does a bone graft take?
Generally, it takes several months for a bone graft to integrate with existing bone. Eventually, when a dental implant in placed in the area, it will also ossify to the surrounding bone and create a permanent solution your missing tooth/teeth.
Can a bone graft be done at the same time as a dental implant?
If only a small bone graft is needed, it may be possible for one of our surgeons to place an implant at the same time. Then, everything ossifies together, and once this process is complete, the crown can be placed.
How much does bone grafting cost?
Many insurances cover some of the cost of bone grafting if it is determined to be medically necessary. Pricing depends on the extent of the bone graft and what kind is used.
What can I expect after the operation?
The healing process depends on your unique situation. It is normal to experience some pain, which can typically be relieved with an over-the-counter pain killer such as ibuprofen and ice. You may also need to take a round of antibiotics to help fight against infection. A soft diet is generally recommended, especially in the first few days of recovery. You will be provided with detailed instructions to help with the recovery process.
If you have questions about a dental bone grafting, need a dental implant, or would like to schedule a consultation, please call our office at 843-762-9028.