Dental implants are a game-changer when it comes to replacing teeth. Patients who have lost their teeth due to infection, disease, injury or decay can opt for implant surgery. While implant-based restoration is a popular choice, many people are not aware that a bone graft may also be necessary for the procedure.
In this article, we’ll cover everything related to bone grafting, from the procedure’s benefits to what you can expect during recovery.
What is a bone graft for a tooth implant?
Dental bone grafts are commonly used to treat parts of the jaw where bone loss has happened. The procedure involves adding volume and density to the affected area, which can improve your oral health overall. The bone graft material for this procedure can come from your body (autogenous), or it may be purchased from an animal tissue bank (xenograft) or a human tissue bank (allograft). The bone graft material may be artificial (alloplast) in some cases.
What happens before the bone graft surgery?
The dentist will check the health of the gums, teeth, and jaw during an oral examination. They will take dental X-rays or scans in order to discern the full scope of a patient’s bone loss. Subsequently, the dentist will explain various treatment options to the patient and devise a custom-made plan based on what best suits them. Read more about dental implant procedures.
What happens during the bone graft procedure?
Before starting the procedure, the dentist will numb the area with a local anaesthetic. Next, they will make a small cut in the gums. The gum tissue is gently pushed back so that the jawbone becomes visible. Once the dentist has cleaned and disinfected the area, they will add bone grafting material to repair any damage. In some instances, a membrane may be placed above the bone graft for further security. Lastly, the gum tissue is shifted back into place, and the cut is closed with stitches.
After their dental treatment, the patient needs to follow instructions given by the dentist. They can take over-the-counter pain medication or request a prescription from the dentist.
What to eat after bone graft surgery?
The types of foods you’ll be able to eat after your bone grafting procedure will depend on the complexity of the surgery. However, you will need to follow a modified diet for at least a few days.
For the initial days, patients are restricted to a diet consisting only of cold liquids and soft foods. These include smoothies, milkshakes, juices, yoghurt, cooked cereal, mashed potatoes, and pureed fruits. You should steer clear of any foods that require chewing for at least the initial week post-surgery.
To prevent anything from getting stuck in or around your graft site, you will need to avoid eating hard, crunchy foods for several weeks.
What are the advantages of bone grafts?
Here are some advantages of bone grafts.
1. Bone grafts save your teeth
Bone grafting can be used to treat several existing oral problems, such as sinus deficiencies, tumours, infections, and trauma. These conditions can lead to your bone losing strength and density, making it more difficult for your teeth and gums to stay in place. Bone grafts encourage new bone growth surrounding the surgical area, which helps preserve your existing teeth.
2. Bone grafts support dental bridges and implants
Bone grafting provides support for dental restorations like implants, crowns, and dentures. Dentists use bone grafts to grow new bone so the artificial teeth will have something strong to attach to. This keeps these dental appliances in place so they can do their job without any issues.
By repairing your jawbone, bone grafting helps to maintain and lift the muscles in your face. This prevents premature ageing, wrinkles, thinning lips, and facial sagging. The result is a youthful, healthy smile that looks natural. This can significantly increase your self-esteem and self-confidence.
4. Bone grafts support your gums and teeth
A good bone structure looks great and protects your gums and teeth from problems such as gum disease and tooth loss.
5. Bone grafts repair and reconstruct a weakened jawbone
Bone grafting helps rebuild your lost jawbone that occurred as a result of missing teeth, dental trauma, and periodontal disease.
Get a beautiful smile at Carindale Family Dentist
At Carindale Family Dentist, we offer bone grafting treatment that is personalised to each of our patient’s needs. Our dentists will go over the benefits of this procedure with you and explain it in detail. Education is one of our top priorities when it comes to caring for our patients! And our team is committed to providing outstanding care throughout the entire process. We want to make sure that you leave our clinic feeling confident about your oral health.
Note: Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.
Bone grafts in dentistry