Oral Surgery

What is a Bone Graft?

Oct 9 • 2 minute read

Bone grafting is the surgical procedure that improves areas of the smile deficient in natural bone and involves taking material from another source. The contributing materials can be taken from the patient’s chin or hip or can be outsourced synthetically.

While each bone grafting material has unique beneficial properties, the primary function is to allow for the replacement of bone through a process called guided tissue regeneration. These methods widen the window of opportunity for those in need of dental implants by strengthening jaw health and improving approachability. Though the term may sound alarming, bone grafting is a common, simple, and reliable procedure that can help you achieve a healthy, fully-functioning smile.

Why Is Bone Grafting Necessary Before Implant Surgery?

An oral surgeon will determine if the jawbone is too weak or thin to keep the replacement tooth in place. If the existing bone cannot support replacement them, it will most likely cause the implant to fail. Which means this method cannot be performed. Bone grafts, however, can aid patients in becoming viable candidates for the procedure. The successful outcome of both structural and functionality with dental implant surgery largely depends on the individual’s jawbone sufficiency.

When is a Sinus Lift Needed?

Sinus lift surgery is a type of bone grafting procedure that is necessary when the sinus area is too close to the upper jaw bone for dental implants to be placed. This can be caused by:

  • Loss of bone to gum or periodontal disease
  • Resorption and bone atrophy caused by tooth loss
  • Genetic abnormalities

Because of the skull’s anatomy, there is less bone in the back of the upper jaw than in the bottom, making the bone loss more of an issue when implant placement is indicated.

What to Expect

The procedure for replacing the insufficient bone with a bone graft commonly requires local anesthesia, along with oral sedatives. This helps achieve a higher state of relaxation for the patient while undergoing treatment. A small incision in the gum tissue is made to access the underlying bone receiving the graft. Some soreness may be experienced after surgery, which can usually be managed using over-the-counter prescriptions permitted by your oral surgeon.

Although you may soon feel back to normal, it can take up to seven months for the bone growth to take place to receive a dental implant. Proper healing time will allow for the goal of ideal support for replacement teeth that look and feel natural.

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