If you have missing teeth, you may be considering getting dental implants. Dental implants are great for restoring teeth because they look, act, and function just like natural teeth. Unfortunately, if you’ve had missing teeth for a while, you may be suffering from bone loss, which means there isn’t enough bone to support the dental implant. With advancements in dental technology, bone grafting surgery can restore lost bone in your jaw so you can get implants.
Why Bone Grafting Surgery Is Needed for Dental Implants
Bone grafting surgery for dental implants are designed to restore the height, width, and density of your jaw bone to prepare for dental implants. The reason bone grafts are often needed before dental implant surgery is because having missing teeth can cause bone loss in the area that does not have a tooth. When you are missing a tooth, there’s no root to stimulate the jaw. As a result, the bone in that area is slowly absorbed by the body. In order to restore the bone in that area so that you can receive an implant, it is necessary to graft a piece of bone onto the jaw from another part of your body. Typically, it usually comes from another section of your jaw. Bone grafts can also come from cadavers and animals, which some individuals prefer because it eliminates the need for a second surgical site.
The Bone Grafting Dental Surgery Procedure
Be sure to prepare for your bone grafting procedure by speaking to your doctor about your current medications. After this, the bone grafting surgery procedure starts by taking 3D digital images of your entire jaw. The images are used to determine where you need bone grafts. Next, an incision is made into the gum and the graft is placed. The gum is then stitched over the graft and the area is allowed to heal.
Depending on the degree of bone loss, you may need to wait several months while the graft heals and your jaw creates new bone before you can get your dental implant. In other cases, it may be possible to place the implant post at the same time as your bone graft. This typically depends on how much bone needs to be grafted.
The Bone Graft Healing Process
After the graft has been placed, you may experience some discomfort, but it is usually no worse than the discomfort experienced from a tooth extraction. There may also be some swelling of your face. This can be controlled by placing ice along your jaw, which will help reduce swelling as well as pain. You’ll also want to eat a diet of soft foods in order to avoid damaging the surgical site. Our oral surgeon will explain what types of foods you can eat and the length of time you’ll need to eat those foods while the graft site heals.
You should avoid strenuous exercise for several days after the surgery. You’ll also want to sleep with your head propped on pillows. This is because performing strenuous exercises and activities can injure the surgical site, resulting in longer healing times. Sleeping with your head propped on a pillow helps prevent blood from pooling in the surgical site, and it helps keep inflammation down. After your bone grafting surgery, several follow-up appointments are needed to ensure everything is healing normally. It can take anywhere from several weeks to several months for the bone graft to fully heal.
Bone Grafting with Our Dental Surgeon in Melbourne
Our dental surgeon, Dr. Sedaros, in Melbourne offers two types of bone grafting surgeries: minor and major bone grafting. When you don’t have enough jaw to support an implant, it involves a minor bone grafting surgery. Major bone grafting surgery is typically needed when there are severe deficiencies in the jaw and deformities caused by severe periodontal disease, multiple tooth extractions, or injuries to the jaw.
Think a bone grafting procedure would be right for you?