Have you heard about dental implants used to replace missing teeth? You may think getting dental implants is a straightforward procedure requiring nothing more than a visit to the dentist’s office near you. However, how would you react if the dentist mentioned you need bone grafting before getting dental implants? You would probably think bone grafting is scary and perhaps reconsider your decision of getting replacement teeth to close gaps in your smile.
The bone grafting procedure is nothing to be scared of because it is a standard dental routine that is painless and predictable. However, if you have decided to replace missing teeth with dental implants, it helps if you understand you may have undergone bone resorption after losing your natural teeth. The dental implants you plan to have receive the stability they need only when you have sufficient bone in your jaw. If not, the chances are high that you will encounter implant failure and begin your search again for other tooth replacement solutions.
When Does Bone Grafting Become Necessary?
Bone grafting becomes necessary if you do not have sufficient quality of healthy natural bones in your mouth to support the implants. The deficient natural bone structure in your mouth could result from developmental defects, gum disease, trauma to the face or injuries, and vacant space after natural teeth removal.
What Precisely Is Bone Grafting?
A bone graft dental is a surgical technique to repair or rebuild bones by transplantation of bone tissue. Dentists recreate lost bone and supporting tissues by transplanting healthy bone tissue in your mouth.
Tooth loss, besides impacting your smile, eating, and speaking also causes bone loss. The situation is standard for anyone losing a tooth or teeth, making it essential for them to need a bone graft before dental implant placement. Whether you choose a tooth a day before your consultation or much earlier, you must undergo the bone grafting procedure. The process is required because your tooth socket may have infections or the missing tooth is not of the appropriate size to support an immediate replacement.
Most people don’t consider getting dental implants the day they lose their teeth. Some think the financial implications of getting a dental implant, and sometimes the reasons are logistical. However, bone loss begins occurring every day after a tooth is lost.
What’s the Connection between Tooth Loss and Bone Loss?
Your alveolar bone is tasked with supporting and holding your teeth and is the one typically affected when you lose teeth. The alveolar bone begins to resorb for lack of work. Additionally, your jawbone builds and strengthens every time you chew food. Therefore, the loss of alveolar bone can quickly result in jawbone loss.
You must understand dental implants rely on osseointegration to function. It means the implant must integrate with your jawbone to create a stable foundation for the dental crown. If you have an insufficient bone in your jaw, dental implant placement is practically impossible.
How Do Bone Grafts Function?
There are many types of bone grafts, and the type dentists use to repair your jawbone depends on the extent of the damage affecting you besides the location of the lost tooth.
A socket graft is the most common bone graft performed by dentists with a primary focus to prevent atrophy of the alveolar bone before it occurs. Dentists place bone from a human donor directly into the socket. The procedure also prevents the socket from collapsing. When you undergo a socket graft, you become ready for your implant in approximately four to six months. In addition, a socket graft also minimizes the post-operative pain after implant surgery.
What Happens After Getting a Bone Graft?
You receive antibiotics to prevent infections after the dentist completes the bone graft. You also receive painkillers to manage any discomfort you encounter. You must wait until the bone graft has fused with your natural bone before you can proceed with dental implant surgery. Bone grafts require time to heal, although you may recover from the procedure in as little as three months or take an entire year. It would help if you visited your dentist for regular checkups until the professional determines you are ready for your implants.
Are Bone Grafts Essential for Everyone Getting Dental Implants?
The optimal way of understanding whether you need a bone graft is to schedule a consultation with your dentist. The dental professional evaluate your mouth and recommends a bone graft only if required. If you have sufficient healthy bone in your jaw, you can begin planning for the dental implants right away.