Dental implants provide patients who are missing one or more teeth with a long term solution that will restore their smile. Before an oral surgeon can even begin the process of placing the dental implant in the mouth, he or she must make sure there is enough bone to support the implant. If it is determined there is not enough bone, the oral surgeon will recommend a bone grafting procedure to regrow the tissue. 

What is a Bone Graft?

A bone graft is a specific medical procedure that is performed to help fix problems within the bone. In the case of bone grafts and dental implants, this particular procedure is performed to create enough bone that the upper or lower jaw can properly support the placement of the metallic post for the implant.

To create enough bone to provide support for the implant, the oral surgeon will take donor bone and place it at the site where the implant will be located. Oral surgeons can get the donor bone one of two ways. The first, and least popular, option involves taking bone from another part of the body and using it for the bone graft procedure. If this option is used, the donor bone will come from the ribs, wrist, or pelvis.

Using donor bone from the patient’s body is not often used in modern dentistry. This method for bone grafting isn’t popular because it is extremely risky. The surgeon must first go in and surgically remove the donor bone. Then, he or she will go in and place it at the site of the implant.

A second option, using bone that has been specially crafted in a laboratory, is the most popular option. It is popular because it is cost effective, there is no risk in obtaining the bone as there is no extra surgery required to get the donor bone, and the body is quick to accept this type of donor bone.

After the donor bone has been placed, the body will quickly have the bone heal around the dental implant. This will give the patient a strong, sturdy base that will allow the implant to stay in place for many years.

A Closer Look at the Risks Involved with a Bone Graft

As with any surgical procedure, there are a number of risks involved with a bone graft. The risks that are commonly associated with bone grafts that are performed for dental implants include:

  • Increased inflammation
  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Nerve injury
  • Potential rejection of the bone graft

The best way to avoid having these problems occur after a bone graft is to properly follow all after care instructions. The oral surgeon who performed the bone graft will provide the patient with a list of detailed after care instructions that will include everything from how to properly clean the surgical site to things that should be avoided, such as smoking and excessive alcohol consumption.

When is the Dental Implant Procedure Performed After a Bone Graft?

Oral surgeons have two choices for when to perform the dental implant procedure. They can perform the implant procedure while placing the bone graft or they can wait a few months and then perform the implant procedure.

If the patient is having a minor bone graft procedure, the oral surgeon may perform the implant procedure at the time of the graft. However, if the bone graft procedure is complicated, the oral surgeon may wait to place the dental implant. Waiting allows the oral surgeon to make sure the bone graft has properly healed and enough bone has regrown so the dental implant can be properly supported.

Use an Experienced Oral Surgeon for Bone Grafts and Dental Implant Procedures

A bone graft is only as successful as the oral surgeon who performs it. In the Melbourne, Florida area, people in need of a bone graft or a dental implant can trust Dr. Sedaros. Dr. Sedaros is an experienced oral surgeon who has completed hundreds of successful bone grafts and dental implant procedures.

Call the office today to schedule an appointment for a consultation with Dr. Sedaros. He will gladly answer any questions you may have regarding bone grafts and dental implant procedures.