If you’re considering implants as a solution to tooth loss, you won’t have any problems as long as your gums and jaw bone are healthy and fully intact. But if you’ve gone a long time with missing teeth, your bones may have eroded, making sturdy, attractive implants, dentures and crowns nearly impossible to fit. Bone grafting uses natural materials to boost your bone health and make the implant possible. There are a number of reasons your dentist may recommend a bone graft, but all lead to your ultimate dental health and best look.
A bone grafting procedure takes bone, or bone-like material from one source and attaches it to an area in your jaw that’s in need. Bone grafts are normally used to:
- Improve structure
- Save teeth that are degrading
- Fill sockets after extractions
- Create new teeth for implants
These procedures are mostly safe and routine, but they do vary in intensity. If you think you need a dental bone graft, the first thing to do is to consult with a dentistry team. Trustworthy clinics, such as Albany County Dental Associates, make you aware of all of your options and help you make your best choice. Bone graft surgery today is highly specialized and can be used in many different situations.
Why Bone Grafting?
Bone grafting is used to alter or support the bone structure underlying your teeth. In more extensive bone graft surgeries, your whole jaw could be reshaped. But generally, the procedure is performed to support or rescue teeth that may be degrading or to support the bone structure under your gums that your teeth are attached to.
If you have to get a tooth removed, the bone in the socket deteriorates over time, and the surrounding bone can collapse inward, changing the whole structure of your mouth and jaw. If you have periodontitis or had gum disease in the past, the bones under your gums could be worn away. In these situations, a bone grafting procedure keeps your tooth structure sound.
A bone graft also makes sure your teeth don’t shift around too much. Your skilled dentist may use dental bone grafts to keep your sockets firm after getting a tooth pulled, so that you can keep the option open of getting a single tooth implant.
How Bone Grafts Are Accomplished
For less extensive procedures, local anesthesia can be used for a bone graft procedure, but in some cases, your dental surgeon may opt for general anesthesia. Albany Dental relies on the latest sedation dentistry techniques. Which pain-killing method your dentist uses for your procedure depends on many factors, including where the bone graft is needed.
Bone grafting material can be taken from your own body, from a donor or from other species. Most commonly, it’s created synthetically. All these options involve intense sanitization processes so the material can be safely integrated into your body.
After making the initial incision, your dental surgeon introduces and fuses the new material to your existing bone. In some cases, the bone grafting material is just a placeholder that allows your bone to regenerate. Other grafting materials actually have properties that stimulate your bone to grow. Regardless of the material your Albany-area dentist uses, it successfully becomes part of your bone structure.
Support for Your Unique Requirements
Your dentist or dental surgeon tailors the procedure to your mouth and your needs. Because of this, it’s best to have a friendly and approachable dental team. At Albany County Dental Associates, which also act as your family dentistry practice, you already feel comfortable sharing your concerns.
And if you wonder if bone grafting is right for you, consider recommendations from the Creighton University School of Dentistry: “Many times, a dentist needs to increase the amount of bone in a patient’s jaw. Recent developments in bone grafting techniques have made implant treatment possible in cases that would have been impossible just a few years ago.”
Recovery and Aftercare
The most difficult part of bone graft surgery may be the recovery period, simply because it takes time. Full recovery, in which the new material is successfully integrated, can take up to six months. But this does not mean you’re in pain the whole time. The site of your surgery needs good blood flow, minimal pressure and gentle care to heal properly.
Maintain your dental checkups to ensure that your graft and any following dental implants remain healthy. The success of your treatment remains in your corner, as stated in a study reported by the National Institutes of Health: “There was no difference in the dental implant survival rate when implants were placed in native bone or bone-grafted sites. Smoking and lack of professional maintenance were significantly related to increased implant loss.”
Talk to your dental team in advance so that you know what recovery will look like for you. If a bone graft procedure is the option you choose, you’re in safe hands at Albany County Dental Associates. After bone graft surgery, you can be on your way to healing in no time.