What To Know About Bone Grafts Prior To Dental Implants

In some cases, those who wish to have dental implants must also undergo an outpatient dental procedure known as a bone graft or augmentation. To find out why this sort of procedure might be necessary and what to expect, read on.

Your Jawbone May Be Weak

The post that holds in an implant and makes it so long-lasting and secure will attach to your jawbone, located just under your gums. That area, however, can sometimes be too weak for a post to properly attach. That can happen because of medications, decay, gum disease, missing teeth, and aging. An X-ray can reveal the weaknesses in the bone density and prompt the need for a graft to be added. This procedure is minor but will require a few months of healing before the dental implants can be performed.

What Is Used for the Graft Material?

Patients have a choice of four types of materials for adding additional bone material to the jaw area. Synthetic choices include either alloplastic or xenograft materials. Alloplastic materials include calcium phosphate which helps stimulate the jawbone to form its own bone growth. Xenograft materials are formulated with animal bones that have been sterilized and used to fill in missing bones. Natural material choices include using the patient's own bones to fill in the missing density in the jaw area. Autogenous, as it is known, can provide the best results because it's less likely to be rejected. The bone material can come from another area of the jaw or the hip. However, autogenous bone grafts could cause an additional surgical procedure to be performed. Another natural choice is allografting and that uses a cadaver bone. The bone material must be compatible with your body, and it is carefully checked for problems and sterilized thoroughly.

The Procedure

The material used will dictate the procedure, but bones grafts are typically performed under anesthesia. Patients can go home the same day and wait for the bone graft to bond to the bones already present. Everyone heals differently so your dentist may ask for another X-ray to get more information about the bone graft. In many cases, several months must pass between the bone graft and the implant procedure.

Dental implants provide patients with the most natural and long-lasting missing tooth remedy. Speak to your dentist and find out if you are a candidate for either a bone graft or implant surgery as soon as possible.

For more information, contact a dental center, such as Total Freedom Dental Implant Center.