Facts about bone grafts
Patients who have been missing teeth for a long time and are interested in dental implants will sometimes require a bone graft to prepare their jawbone.
Here is more information about bone grafts and how they can restore your bone structure as the first step towards a new smile.
Bone grafts are occasionally performed using actual bone tissue from the patient’s body (typically tissue is borrowed from the hip or another other area of the jaw). Your own bone tissue is less likely to be rejected by your body but human, bovine or even synthetic material can now be processed in a way that it will fuse to your bone during the grafting process. The benefit to this approach is that there is no ‘donor” site so there is much less discomfort than when a patient’s own bone is used.
Prevents further bone loss
Along with the placement of a dental implant and crown, bone grafts can stop the atrophy of the jawbone and work to heal your bone structure over time. The longer you have an implant, the stronger the underlying bone will grow.
Bone grafts don’t affect existing teeth
Introducing bone tissue to your jaw will have no effect on the surrounding teeth in your mouth.
Only local anesthetic is required
Many patients falsely believe that a general anesthetic must be used to perform a bone graft. However, a bone graft is a routine procedure that only requires local anesthetic.
Bone grafts do need to fuse
Depending on the extent of bone loss, the type of tooth that is missing (its position in the jaw) and your general health and healing speed, a bone graft can take anywhere from a few weeks to few months to fuse.
Dental implants that are installed soon after the loss of a tooth will not require a bone graft, as your jawbone will not have suffered any atrophy.