5 Things to Know About Bone Grafting

Have you been missing one or more teeth for a long time? Are you considering dental implants to replace these teeth? If so, your prosthodontist in Columbus may suggest that you undergo bone grafting before you get your dental implants. 

About Oral Bone Grafts

Oral bone grafting is a type of procedure known as bone augmentation. Its purpose is to build up bone tissue in a patient’s jaw. Your jawbone deteriorates after you lose a tooth or wear dentures for a long time – bone grafting helps replace enough lost bone mass to support a dental implant. 

Bones are constantly rebuilding themselves in a process known as remodeling, in which some cells break down bone tissue and other cells build bone tissue back up. Biting and chewing create pressure on your teeth, and the forces of this pressure travel down the tooth and into your jawbone. There, the forces of biting and chewing stimulate the rebuilding of bone tissue. Without the tooth and the stimulation that it delivers, the jawbone loses bone tissue at a faster rate than it builds it. Deterioration of your jawbone puts other teeth at risk of falling out.

A bone graft can help your body restore lost bone tissue, which reduces the risk of losing more teeth. Bone grafts can also strengthen your jawbone enough to support a dental implant, which is a permanent tooth replacement. You may benefit from a bone graft before getting an all-on-four, which replaces all the teeth on your upper and lower jaw with just four dental implants. 

While dental implants are the closest you can get to a natural tooth, they do require the support of a strong and healthy jawbone. 

About the bone grafting procedure

After numbing the treatment area, your dentist will make a small incision in your gums and move the gum tissue over slightly to expose the bone. Next, your dentist adds bone grafting material to the area, repositions the gum tissue, and closes the incision with stitches.

You’ll return to work or school the next day and will probably feel back to normal within a few days. It does takes between three and nine months for the bone graft to completely heal, depending on the type of graft, the area in which the graft was placed, and how well your body heals. 

Before undergoing bone grafting for dental implants or other types of “oral implantology,” you should know some important facts. 

5 Essential Facts You Need to Know about Bone Grafting

1. Bone grafts are not painful

Your dentist will numb the area with local anesthesia. You may even opt for sedation, such as nitrous oxide (laughing gas), oral sedation in the form of a pill, or IV sedation in which you receive sedation through an intravenous (IV) line inserted into your arm.

After the procedure, most people experience little to no pain. You may experience some discomfort at the incision area, but most people control the discomfort with over-the-counter pain relievers. 

2. Your body replaces bone graft material with real bone 

If you are like many people, you might think that the donor bone fuses to your jawbone. You may be surprised to learn that the graft works as a frame onto which your body adds new bone tissue. 

3. Bone grafts have a high success rate

Oral bone grafting has a very high success rate. Researchers recently performed a retrospective study which followed 384 bone graft patients for 15 years after oral bone grafting. More than 98 percent of bone grafts were successful. 

4. Bone grafting isn’t just for dental implants

If you have a history of severe gum disease, you may benefit from bone grafting. Severe gum disease, known as periodontitis, can cause bone loss that may lead to the loss of one or more teeth. 

Leftover food can combine with bacteria and saliva to create plaque, a clear substance that sticks to the surfaces inside your mouth. Your gums respond to the presence of plaque by swelling up. Left in place, the plaque can harden into tartar, which further irritates your gums – your gums respond with even more inflammation, which can cause your gums to pull away from your teeth to create pockets between your teeth and gums. Plaque can get deep down into these pockets to reach the roots of your teeth and your jawbone, where it deteriorates bone tissue to cause jawbone loss.

Bone grafting can help you restore bone tissue lost to gum disease, and could potentially help you avoid tooth loss. 

5. Your bone graft may not use your bone tissue

While some bone grafting techniques still use bones from the patient’s own chin or jawbone, today’s technically-advanced reconstructive dentists use materials from outside sources. Bone grafting materials may be 100% synthetic, come from a tissue bank, or other sources All bone grafting donor material is sterilized, processed, and freeze-dried before use. 

If you can benefit from a bone graft, consult with Oral Implants and Reconstructive Dentistry. In addition to dental implants, we provide bone grafting to help our patients get the best outcome possible. Contact Oral Implants and Reconstructive Dentistry today.

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