What is a dental bone graft?
A dental bone graft is performed in dentistry to increase the volume of bone in the jaw before an implant is placed. It is a technique that is required when a patient does not have enough healthy bones in their mouth, which are capable of supporting dental implants. The deterioration of the mouth's natural bones may be caused by gum disease, face injury or trauma, or an empty space after a tooth was removed.
Why are bone grafts used in dentistry?
Bone grafts are used to achieve treatment goals, such as:
- Saving teeth - periodontal disease can cause bone loss, which leads to the tooth becoming loose
- Tooth extractions - it is common to use bone grafting material in a tooth socket after it has been removed to make a dental implant easier
- Dental implants - implants require good bone density and volume to achieve a higher success rate.
How do bone grafts work in dentistry?
There are several different types of bone grafts, which are used depending on the severity of bone loss and the location. The different types include:
The purpose of a socket graft is to prevent the atrophy of the alveolar bone before it can occur. A human donor is required and is placed into the socket, which also prevents the collapse of the socket. Following this, you will be ready for a dental implant after four to six months. The grafts also minimise pain post-surgery.
Lateral ridge preservation graft
This type of graft, which is from a human donor, is used to increase the width of the jawbone so that it can accommodate a dental implant. It takes four to six months to heal.
Block bone graft
This is necessary when there are large defects to the jaw. A small block of bone from the jaw is used and placed into the defect. It is held in place with titanium screws. It takes four to six months to heal.
Sinus lift procedure
Equine bone is used for these to expand the graft. This procedure is necessary when the patient needs a dental implant in the upper jaw, which is not strong enough to hold an implant on its own.
Are bone grafts painful?
Bone grafts are a very common procedure and they are not painful. Typically, the patient is sedated throughout the procedure. There will be no pain as the bone graft heals and once it has done, it will be time for the dental implants.