In some cases, your jaw bone may not be strong enough to support a dental implant, and to prepare your mouth, your oral surgeon may need to do a dental bone graft. Essentially, this process involves moving bone from one part of your body to your jaw bone. When that heals, you get the implant as usual. So that you know what to expect, here’s an overview of the process and a look at some of our patients’ most common questions.
Who Needs a Dental Bone Graft?
Generally, you only need a dental bone graft if your current jaw bone isn’t strong enough to hold the implant. This can occur in cases where you have an issue such as osteoporosis or another condition that makes your bone too thin or soft to support the implant. Additionally, when you don’t have teeth in a certain part of your mouth, your jaw bone starts to deteriorate. As a result, if you’ve been missing teeth for a while, you may need a bone graft. Your surgeon can let you know when they examine you.
Where Does the Bone Come From?
With advancement in technology, your surgeon can use a cadaver or bovine bone or harvest bone from different sites in your own body such as the jaw, hips, or knee. With cutting edge technology we are using human growth factors in combination with cadaver or bovine bone to achieve excellent results.
What Happens When You Get a Dental Bone Graft?
Once the oral surgeon has the bone, they place it in your mouth in the desired spot, and the position a grafting material between your bone and the new bone. This holds the bones together while they ossify. Ossify simply means “turn into bone” and essentially, it means these two parts grow together. Eventually, when the oral surgeon places the implant in your mouth, that will also ossify to the surrounding bone and create a permanent solution to your missing teeth.
How Long Does a Dental Bone Graft Take?
The dental bone graft procedure is an outpatient procedure, and it doesn’t take much longer than a dental appointment for a root canal or a filling. However, the healing process can take a while. Generally, it takes several months for the new bone to mesh with your bone, and in most cases, you can’t get your dental implant until that happens.
That said, there are a few exceptions. If you only need a very small bone graft, the oral surgeon may be able to put the post for the dental implant in at the same time. Then, you wait for everything to ossify together, and when that’s complete, you get the crown or bridge that completes your implant.
If you need a dental implant or have questions about a dental bone graft, contact us at Greater Atlanta Oral Facial Surgery today. We are an oral and maxillofacial oral surgery clinic with two convenient locations, and we have onsite microbiology testing for sterilization, which ensures that all our procedures are as safe as possible. We also have an anesthesia machine for your comfort, and our chief oral surgeon, Dr. Abtin is a published researcher who travels the world to lecture and teach.