understanding dental bone grafts

Patient needs are dynamic, and, in some cases, additional or more extensive methods are needed to ensure that the results of one’s treatment are as successful as possible.

Such measures often apply to dental implantation. A durable, healthy jawbone is necessary for the implants to bond correctly and support your smile. If you don’t have strong enough or thick enough jawbone, your dentist in Millwoods will recommend a bone graft prior to the implantation process to ensure there is enough healthy bone tissue that is strong enough to anchor dental implants.

We perform dental bone grafts here at Agape Dental. If this is something that you’re looking to learn more about, don’t hesitate to call us and set up an introductory consultation today.

So … What Exactly is a Bone Graft? 

Dental bone grafting in Millwoods is a surgical treatment that reinforces your jaw by increasing its volume and density. Patches of tissue are removed from another source and attached to the areas in the bone where deterioration has occurred.

Depending on your case, tissue can be taken from:

  1. Another area in your body. Material can be acquired from another spot on the jaw, the tibia, or your hip bone. This is called an autograft.
  2. From a human tissue bank. In other words, tissue from a cadaver is used, and this is known as an allograft.
  3. An animal tissue bank. Common xenograft donor species include a pig or cow.
  4. Synthetic tissue.Called an alloplast, this refers to artificial tissue.

In addition to acquiring implants, your dentist may advise undergoing this procedure to strengthen your jaw before getting dentures, as part of a sinus lift, or if you’re dealing with gum disease. In any case, bone grafting is a common process, so please don’t worry if you do need one.

Breaking Down the Procedure 

A thorough consultation with a dentist near you will kick off your treatment. Your dentist will perform an oral examination to determine the health of your teeth, jaw and gums, and a number of x-rays will be taken to ascertain the degree of bone loss.  All this information will be used by your dentist to decide if you’re an ideal candidate for bone grafting.  If approved, your dentist will discuss treatment options and create a personalized treatment plan that meets your needs.

Once the treatment plan is approved, the procedure can begin. Anesthesia is provided to numb the area, preventing you from feeling discomfort while your team works. Your mouth is cleaned to ensure that an infection does not occur and so debris won’t interfere with treatment. An incision is made in the gum tissue, which is then peeled back to access the bone itself. The selected bone grafting material is rightly positioned over the site to repair the defect.  For additional protection, dentists, in most cases, cover the bone grafting material with a membrane.  The last step is repositioning the gum tissue and using dissolvable stitches to anchor it in place.

It is common to experience minor pain, swelling, or bruising following the procedure; these symptoms will go away in a few days. You can take Advil or Tylenol to manage any discomfort.  Your dentist may also prescribe antibiotics.  If you have further concerns or questions, make sure you talk to your dentist.

Recovery From a Bone Graft

Most patients can return to their daily routine about a day or two after the procedure. With that said, the bone itself will still require several more weeks to fully heal. Complete bone graft healing and integration takes around three months, sometimes longer.  The location of the graft, the type of tissue used, your current dental hygiene, and your body’s immune response can all impact recovery time.

You may need to alter your eating habits for a few days. This includes avoiding extremely hot food and liquids and hard or crunchy snacks. Wearing a mouthguard during physical activity and pressing ice packs against the side of your face that’s been treated will help, too.

During routine exams, your oral cavity and jaw will be evaluated so your dentist can ensure everything is on the right track.

Set Up an Appointment with Us

For more details about bone grafting near you, you’re invited to book an appointment with our dentist.  Give us a call to get started. Our team is eager to meet with you and learn more about your case. Your smile is unique and deserves nothing less than customized, high-quality care; we guarantee you’ll leave our clinic feeling happy and satisfied.

See you soon!