The idea of bone grafting may send shivers down your back, especially when you are told that a bone graft will be needed for you to have that dental implant procedure. Once you understand how the process works, it is much less dramatic and more of a mundane procedure.
Why Bone Grafting May Be Required
To place a dental implant, the bone surrounding the implant must be of sufficient strength and density to hold the implant. Teeth absorb tons of pressure every day as we chew our food. A natural healthy tooth surrounded by healthy bone can stand up to this amount of pressure. If the bone is not strong enough, such as bone that has been compromised due to periodontitis or gum disease, the tooth will become loose and may fall out. An implant cannot be placed in the damaged bone of this type.
When a tooth has been missing for a period, the bone and the gums shrink. This causes the ridge where the tooth once was to become smaller and less suitable for an implant. Depending on how much shrinkage has taken place, the jawbone may be weaker. Again, this is not a suitable situation for an implant. A bone graft, however, will help the bone become stronger and it will add volume to the existing bone.
How the Bone Graft Heals
A small piece of bone is placed at the intended implant site. The graft may be transplanted from another part of the jaw, usually the upper palate, or it may be a small piece of commercially available bone. Using alternatives to the patient’s own bone usually gives successful results without needing a second surgical site.
Once the bone graft has been placed, the area is sutured up and left to heal. The healing process may take several months. During this time the graft fuses with the natural bone and generates more bone. This process creates stronger, denser bone in the area where the implant is to be placed.
Your dentist will check the bone grafting site on follow up visits to monitor the growth of the bone and make sure it is proceeding as expected. When the bone has grown sufficiently, the implant process can begin.
If you are advised to have a dental bone graft, Katy Cypress Oral Surgery is an excellent choice for the procedure. Our caring staff has the expertise and experience to carry out your bone grafting procedure smoothly and with little or no discomfort during the process. Contact us today for an appointment or a consultation to learn more about the bone grafting procedure.