What is bone grafting?
Bone grafting is a minor surgical procedure performed under local anaesthesia to rebuild bone that has been lost. Grafting material can be placed into a tooth socket as soon as a tooth is removed or in an area where a tooth has been missing for some time. Your body will then grow a new bone cell, replacing the graft material over the coming months.
Why would I need a bone graft before getting a dental implant?
To ensure that a dental implant can last a lifetime, it needs to fuse securely to your jawbone. If you have insufficient bone volume, your chance of success with dental implants will be significantly lower than it should be.
Bone quality and quantity deteriorate when a tooth is lost even if you do not notice this happening. Sometimes, by the time a patient decides to have a implant, there may not be adequate bone left for success. Missing teeth should be replaced as soon as possible and many dentists recommend placing a bone graft in at the time of removal.
Where does the bone grafting material come from?
Grafting material can come from a variety of sources including your own body. Generally laboratory processed bone from a human or animal donor as well as strong synthetic materials are the preferred choices.
Does bone grafting hurt?
Bone grafting involves a small incision in the gum to gain access to the bone beneath it. Therefore, it is possible that you may feel some post-operative tenderness. Most patients find this manageable with ice packs and over the counter anti-inflammatory medication or pain relief.
Can my body reject a bone graft?
As the grafts are only made of minerals and not genetic or living materials, the body cannot reject them. The problem with this procedure lies with how much bone your body will make in response to the graft. If the desired levels are not achieved, more grafting can be added as at the same time as an implant.