- by Dr. Karanjit Dhillon
- March 6, 2023
Dental Bone Graft is a procedure that is conducted to boost the amount of bone in a part of the jaw where there has been a bone loss or any part which needs additional support.
The bone may be taken from some other part of the body & surgically fused to the existing jaw bone or a synthetic bone material may be used for the procedure which is usually needed before procedures like dental implants or if the health of the nearby gums and teeth is being negatively affected by the bone loss.
Dental bone grafting can be performed in several ways but the basic procedure remains the same, where an incision is made in the jaw by a dentist or oral surgeon and grafts or attaches other bone material to the jaw.
A dental bone graft is generally performed when someone has lost one or more adult teeth or suffers from gum disease, a condition that can lead to bone loss in the jaw.
What are the Types of dental bone grafts?
- Autografts: These types of grafts use bone from the patient’s own body, such as the hip or jaw.
- Allografts: This type of graft makes use of the bone from another person.
- Xenografts: These bone grafts use bone from an animal tissue bank and use bone from another species like cow, pig, or coral.
- Alloplasts. This graft uses synthetic material, like calcium phosphate or calcium sodium phosphosilicate
Who needs a dental bone graft?
A dental bone graft is usually needed by a person who has suffered bone loss in their jaw usually. The procedure is recommended by the dentist in the following cases:
- The patient needs a tooth extraction.
- A bone graft can be performed on someone who opts for a tooth restoration procedure like dental implants which are artificial screw-shaped roots that are placed in the jawbone. A crown that looks like and matches the real teeth is then secured on the tip of the implant. In this case,e bone grafting sometimes becomes a necessity to provide a sturdy base for an implant.
- The jaw needs to be rebuilt before you get dentures.
- When one has suffered bone loss due to gum disease also known as periodontal disease. The teeth and gum tissue nearby can start getting affected due to gum disease and the bone graft can help to stabilize the jaw, preventing further bone loss and also avoiding other long-term health issues that may come with it. Unmanaged gum disease can not only lead to further tooth loss but even heart disease.
- Facial structure needs to be maintained as the bone loss in the jaw can make the face look shorter and drawn. Loss of lower jawbone mass can make it appear protruding forward and lack of healthy bone structure can make the lips and muscles change in appearance and also cause the skin in the jaw area to appear more wrinkled. Although Jawbone loss is more common in older adults, people of any age can suffer from it due to injury in the jaw or due to poor oral hygiene. Some other health problems, like major infections, can also lead to jaw bone loss. A dental bone graft can help rebuild the facial structure in such cases too.
How painful is a dental bone graft?
A dental bone graft is usually a minor procedure done under sedation and is painless. We at Morgan Hill dentistry specialize in Sedation Dentistry and make sure that the dental procedures are as comfortable as possible for our patients.
The pain, if any, after wearing off the anesthesia is also mild and easily manageable with over-the-counter pain medications. However, in the case where bone material is obtained from the patient’s own body, the recovery can be painful, as surgery is done in two places of the body.
But the amount of bone usually harvested is fairly small, thus the discomfort period is also quite less. One must make sure to take the medications as prescribed and follow all the post-operative instructions carefully.
How much does a dental bone graft cost?
The costs of a dental bone graft can vary depending on the complexity of the procedure and the type of material that is used. If you are looking for a bone graft in Morgan Hill, consult Morgan Hill Dentistry for more details and to get an idea of the expected cost.
What are the different types of bone graft procedures?
There are four main types of dental bone grafts procedure according to the needs of the patient
- Periodontal bone graft
- Sinus lift
- Socket preservation.
- Ridge Augmentation
How is the dental bone graft procedure done?
Before dental bone graft placement
An oral examination is performed by your dentist to assess the overall health of your teeth, gums, and jaw. Imaging tests like Dental X-rays or scans are taken to discern the extent of the bone loss and the dentist discusses the treatment options with the patient to create a specific treatment plan according to the needs of the patient
During dental bone graft surgery
A local anesthetic is administered to numb the area and a small incision is put in the gums to move back the gum tissue slightly and make the jawbone visible.
After the area is cleaned and disinfected, the dentist adds bone grafting material to repair the defect.
The bone graft may also be covered with a membrane for additional protection. The gum tissue is finally repositioned and the incision is closed with stitches.
After a dental bone graft
It is normal to feel some pain, swelling, and bruising after a bone graft surgery. However, most of these symptoms can be managed with pain relievers and go away in a few days.
Some antibiotics may also be prescribed by the dentist and you must take them exactly as prescribed.
Recovery and aftercare for a dental bone graft
The dentist puts gauze around the incision before you leave the office. The instructions about the change of the dressing and prescription for antibiotics and pain relievers are provided to help prevent infection and keep you comfortable.
You can also follow a few postoperative tips which will make your recovery quick and comfortable
- Apply ice packs to get relief from pain and swelling for the first couple of days
- Stick to eating soft, bland, and light foods for a few days
- Sleep with your head slightly elevated for a couple of nights to prevent blood from collecting at the area of the incision
One should be careful to avoid the following during the first few days after the procedure:
- Hot liquids
- Hard or crunchy foods
- Any strenuous physical activity, contact sports, etc
The mild pain you feel after the procedure should go away within a week and your jaw should feel normal after a few weeks.
However, it usually takes a few months for the jaw to be strong enough to receive the implants.
Regular visits to your dentist are recommended during this time to monitor the healing process.
What are the Benefits of Dental Bone grafts?
Dental bone grafts help to increase the patient’s eligibility for dental implants & other restorative treatments.
This procedure can also help to restore the jaw to its original shape and form after a trauma like tooth loss or gum disease.
What are the risks or complications of dental bone grafts?
Though Bone grafts are generally safe, every medical procedure carries some risks. These can include
- Excessive bleeding.
- Nerve damage.
- Complications from anesthesia.
Our expert team at Morgan Hill Dentistry makes sure that all our patients are guided appropriately to avoid any complications later.
When should I see my doctor?
A dental bone graft is usually a safe and effective procedure but we recommend that you see your doctor as soon as possible if you notice any of the following symptoms:
- Excessive swelling.
- Any pus around the grafting site.
- Fever that is 101° or higher.
- pain that persists or worsens even after several days of the procedure
- An implant may become loose as it can indicate that a bone graft has failed.
Dental bone grafting is a safe and effective procedure that can help to prevent long-term health issues related to tooth loss and gum disease. Moreover, they help to provide adequate bone material to support dental implants.
There may be some risks of side effects and complications, though rare, after the procedure.
However, it is recommended that you get the procedure done by an expert dental surgeon. Our team at Morgan Hill Dentistry is fully equipped to perform any type of procedure.
Morgan Hill Dentistry FAQs
How does a dental bone graft work?
After it has been placed, the bone graft provides strength or a kind of scaffolding for the patient’s own body to do the repair work and for the bone tissue to grow and regenerate.
Can dental bone grafts fail?
Dental bone grafts have a strikingly high success rate. However, every procedure has a chance of failure.
The chances of failure may be high in people who smoke or have specific medical conditions. It is advised to look closely for any signs of failure and also follow the doctor’s recommendation carefully.
How long does it take to recover from a dental bone graft?
One can heal completely from the procedure within a week or two. However, complete dental bone graft healing is dependent on different factors and can take about three to nine months.