Implants: Bone Grafts
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Dental implants are substitute tooth roots which are placed in the jaw bone. For an implant to be successful the patient must have sufficient jaw bone tissue to support it. In the past it was not feasible for a patient to have dental implants, but with the rapid advance in technology and science, patients with reduced bone tissue are now able to have treatment as a result of bone grafting.
what is bone grafting?
The bone grafting procedure will be carried out if your dentist discovers insufficient bone tissue in the jaw. Bone grafting is where either artificial bone or the patient’s own bone (removed from another area of the body such as the mouth or the hip) is placed in the jaw bone.
- Your dentist will examine your mouth and carry out X-rays to confirm the depth and density of the tissue, and if there is not enough bone to support an implant they will discuss the bone grafting procedure with you.
- Bone grafting can sound daunting to a nervous or dental phobic patient, but it’s actually a simple process. Once bone tissue has been taken from the donor site, an incision will be made in the gum, a flap of tissue lifted and the bone placed on the intended site.
- The flap will then be returned to its original place and the gum stitched. A protective membrane will be placed to protect the wound and reduce the risk of infection.
- The healing period following a bone graft is typically around 4 months, but this can vary.
types of bone graft
There are different types of bone graft but the most common is called an Autograft (also known as Autogenous), where bone is taken from another part of the patient’s body and used to bolster the jaw bone. It is also possible to use bone grafts taken from animals (xenografts) or other humans (allograft), and an alloplastic graft can also be conducted where synthetic material is used to strengthen the jaw bone.