Certain oral health issues and bone-related diseases can reduce the density of the jaw, making it weaker and hindering its functionality. Weak jaw bones also disqualify a patient from receiving dental implants to replace missing teeth. Bone grafting is a potential solution to this problem.
what is a bone graft?
If you have been researching dental implants, you might have seen the term "bone grafting" a couple of times. Bone grafting is the process of taking bone from another part of your body and placing it in your mouth to help build bone mass to prepare for dental implants. Bone grafting is not a painful process and it is actually pretty simple for our dentist to complete. In Dublin OH, Rekos & Border Oral Surgery has a team of dentists that are extremely skilled in the bone grafting procedure.
When is Bone Grafting Necessary?
You might need bone grafting if you don't have healthy bone in your mouth that will be able to support dental implants. If you have gum disease or an empty space left in your mouth from losing a tooth, you might have some type of bone deficiency.
If you want dental implants to replace a tooth you have lost or had to have pulled that was a permanent tooth, there is an extremely high possibility you will need to undergo a bone grafting procedure. Your mouth loses bone mass incredibly fast, starting from the day the tooth actually comes out of your mouth. If it has been some time that the tooth has been missing, you are more likely to need bone grafting to support an implant.
Causes of Jaw Bone Loss
The most common cause of jaw bone loss is teeth being extracted or falling out. The gaps left by the missing tooth lead to less activity for that area of the jaw, which weakens from lack of use. Periodontitis can also directly cause bone loss as the disease moves from the gums to the underlying bone. Bone resorption is a potential risk of extended use of dentures. Tumors and cysts in the mouth can wear away at the jaw if they are not removed or treated in a timely manner. Osteomyelitis is a rare, yet critical, illness that infects the inner part of the bone and restricts blood flow.
What Does The Bone Grafting Process Look Like?
The type of bone graft that is performed most often is called a socket graft. This is when the dentist takes bone, most commonly from a human donor, and puts it in the place where you have lost your tooth. This will help prevent any further damage to the socket and will give a solid ground for the dental implant to be installed. The healing process will take between four and six months, and you can have your dental implant placed after healing is complete.
The block bone graft will be needed if your jaw is not wide enough to support the size of the implant. Our dentist will take bone from a human donor and use it to extend the width of your jaw. Like the socket graft, this procedure will need between four and six months to heal before you can get your implant.
If you have any jawbone defects, you will most likely need to have a block bone graft. The dentist will take a small piece of your own bone from the back of your jaw, and place that bone in the place of the defect. In most cases, the bone piece will be secured with a few titanium screws. This process will also take between four and six months to heal before you can receive your implant.
What Should I Expect After a Bone Graft?
After the bone graft procedure is finished, you will be sent home with some antibiotics to make sure you don't get an infection while you are healing. You should avoid eating hard or crunchy foods while your mouth is healing.
Together, you and our dentist will monitor the healing process and wait for the graft to fuse with your bone. You will need to schedule regular appointments to check on the current stage of the healing process. When the dentist says your healing process is complete, you will then be able have a dental implant procedure.
benefits of a bone graft
Bone grafting is important for dental restorations. Teeth and dental restorations, such as implants, need to be secured to an area of the jawbone called the alveolar ridge to allow for functions like biting and chewing. If the alveolar ridge is compromised and has bone loss, there will not be enough bone to support teeth or dental implants. Bone grafts help build up the needed bone in order to support these.
Bone Graft Alternatives
In addition to replacing the bone structure, bone grafts can be used in combination with other procedures to reshape bone structure. Some of the other procedures we perform include sinus lifts, ridge expansions, and distraction osteogenesis. Sinus lifts are used to raise the floor of your sinus so that we have more room for a bone graft. Ridge expansions are used to divide the jawbone into separate sections so that the bone graft can widen the jawbone as a whole. Distraction osteogenesis allows us to cut a bone in half and fill in the middle gap with a bone graft, making the whole bone longer.
Disqualifying Factors for Bone Grafts
Patients with any active infections are not eligible for bone grafts, as the procedure would leave the patient vulnerable to infection at the incision site. Patients with immune deficiencies are also ineligible for bone grafts due to the increased risk of infection. Patients undergoing radiation therapy are not permitted to have bone graft procedures. And pregnant women must wait until after giving birth to have a bone graft procedure.
bone graft Dublin OH
If you think you might need a bone graft, contact Rekos & Border Oral Surgery at (614) 764-9455 to set up a consultation and discuss what the process will look like for you.