Getting a bone graft can be the solution. A bone graft is a reconstructive surgery that increases the amount of bone in a portion of the jaw that has suffered bone loss or requires additional bone support. Before receiving dental implant surgery or other forms of restorative dentistry, you may need to undergo this surgical treatment. It’s frequently done when the jaw bone isn’t strong enough to support a dental implant. Bone grafts can help save your teeth by repairing damaged bone and increasing your chances of keeping them. Bone grafts act as a filler that stimulates natural bone growth on your teeth. Bone can be taken from other parts of the body and surgically joined to the jaw’s existing bone. Synthetic bone material is sometimes used as a bone substitute.
Ellen Stirling Dental
for Bone Grafts in Western Australia
The types of bone grafts can be categorised according to the bone graft materials used:
- Autograft: An autogenous or autologous bone graft entails using bone from your own body, such as your hip bone or the back of your jawbone. For certain patients, this sort of graft may not be the best option.
- Allograft: Your oral surgeon may propose an allograft bone if you are not a candidate for an autograft. Human bone from somewhere else, usually a cadaver, is used in this graft. Compared to autografts, a human bone graft is a more affordable and safer alternative. With cadaver donor bone, there is also a low chance of infection.
- Xenograft: This involves bone from a different species, usually bovine bone, but occasionally porcine bone, equine bone, or coral. The procedure is moderately successful. Due to the non-human origin of the bone, the success rate is lower than an autograft or an allograft. The body’s cells are not stimulated to create bone by a xenograft. It functions as a structure for your bone to develop into organically. However, in many situations, pieces of the transplant promote bone development and become your own bone.
- Alloplast: This is where synthetic substitutes made of bone graft materials like calcium sodium phosphosilicate or calcium phosphate come into play. Synthetic bone graft poses no risk of disease transmission and can cure minor flaws on its own. Alloplastic grafts, like xenografts, do not stimulate your body’s cells to build new bones.
On the other hand, the following are the different types of bone graft procedures:
- Socket Graft: Bone grafts for dental implants are necessary if the surrounding bone is weak and prone to decay after tooth removal. This form of graft, also known as ridge preservation, is the most common type of bone graft. It is inserted in the socket immediately after tooth extraction. This is because unless the piece of bone is replaced with a graft or an implant, the body will eventually resorb it. It is made up of natural bone material and is inserted into the gap created by tooth removal. This sort of grafting usually takes six months for bone healing before an implant may be placed. It prevents the sides of the socket from caving in by filling the hole left by the missing tooth.
- Block Bone Graft: Block bone grafts are often performed after tooth extractions if the site is not treated with a socket graft right away. Gum disease is another cause of severe bone loss that needs surgery. Gum disease, injury, and substantial orthopaedic trauma can cause bone and tooth loss to the point where a block bone graft is the best option for rebuilding the bone. In a block graft, a small portion of healthy bone tissue is taken from another part of the jaw bone, inserted, and fastened with screws. After the body has recovered from the bone transplant, it will be ready for dental implant surgery.
- Sinus Lift: The maxillary sinuses are positioned between the eye sockets and the upper teeth, providing space for your nose to sit comfortably inside of your face. Sinuses can descend and enter the space initially occupied by the dental roots if the upper back teeth are gone. Implants would not be appropriate in this situation since they would breach the sinus membrane. A sinus lift can be performed by your dental surgeon or periodontist to resolve this issue. The sinus is raised to its proper position after this surgery. After that, a dental bone graft is inserted behind the sinus, laying a stable basis for future dental implants.
- Ridge Augmentation: If you’ve been without teeth for a long time, your jawbone may be thinner than it was previously. Ridge augmentation enhances the width and volume of the jawbone, allowing implants or other restorative solutions to be placed on a secure foundation.
Bone grafts for dental implants must usually heal entirely before the implant can be implanted. Since bone healing takes time, it is not uncommon for this process to take several months. The duration of the healing process varies depending on the individual. Your dentist may be able to place a bone graft and a dental implant at the same time in some cases. This, however, is determined from case to case.
The following conditions often require bone grafting:
- Replacement of missing teeth with dental implants: Most people who replace missing teeth with implants need dental bone grafts. A dental implant is a screw-shaped artificial root implanted in the jawbone. The dental implant is then covered with a crown that looks like the surrounding teeth. Bone grafting is usually required to create a stable foundation for an implant.
- If you are missing a tooth or have gum disease: Dental bone grafting may be required even if you aren’t getting dental implant surgery to preserve a portion of bone that has been lost due to tooth loss or gum (periodontal) disease. Bone loss may cause neighbouring teeth and gum tissue to decline. By stabilising the jaw, bone grafts can help avoid more bone loss and the long-term health issues that occur with it. If gum disease is not treated correctly, it can result in tooth loss and possibly heart disease.
- Bone loss: Those who are affected by bone loss may also require bone grafts to facilitate bone formation. Bone loss in the jaw might make the face look shorter. Loss of bone mass can cause the lower jawbone to appear to be thrust forward. If there isn’t good bone structure underneath your lips and muscles, they can change how you look. Wrinkles around the jaw can appear. Jaw bone loss is more common in older adults; however, anyone of any age who has had a jaw injury or has had problems with poor oral hygiene or other health issues, such as severe infections, may require a dental bone graft.
After your grafting surgery has taken place, you’ll probably leave the dentist’s office with gauze packed around the incision in your mouth. It usually takes two weeks for the initial healing process to take place.
It’s possible that you’ll have discomfort, swelling, and bruising. The site of the procedure will bleed a lot, and you should change the bandages frequently. Depending on the extent of your surgery, you may experience swelling in other areas of your face, such as your cheeks and eyes. Ice packs can help reduce swelling and pain.
These are common side effects that will go away within a few days. Pain medications can help with the symptoms, and antibiotics may also be prescribed by your dentist. These medications should be taken exactly as directed. During the first several days, you may detect tiny bone fragments oozing out of the wound. These fragments frequently resemble salt or sand grains. This isn’t usually a cause for concern but check with your dentist to be sure you’re recovering properly.
During your initial recovery period, avoid drinking hot liquids and eating hard or crunchy foods. Do not engage in strenuous physical activity for a few days as it could damage the incision.
The dull pain in your jaw should subside to some mild discomfort after a week or so, and you should notice that it’s getting better. After a few weeks, your jaw should feel normal again. However, it can take several months for your jaw to be solid enough to accept implants. During this time, we recommend regular appointments with your dentist, including at least one round of X-rays, to monitor recovery.
Generally, bone grafts in the mouth are safe. However, the procedure is not without risks. It is critical to discuss any risks associated with bone grafting with your dentist before undergoing bone grafting surgery. The following are some of the procedure’s potential drawbacks:
- Adverse reaction to anaesthesia
- Bone graft rejection
- Heavy bleeding
- Inflammation, swelling, and pain around the donor site and grafting site
- Nerve damage
- Graft resorption