Bone graft FAQ

What is a bone graft?

A bone graft is a procedure used to beef up the jawbone to be able to house a dental implant. The jawbone starts to disintegrate when there are no tooth roots in it, so jawbones that have been without tooth roots for an extended period of time cannot handle the pressure of a dental implant, as they are not dense enough. These jawbones need to be beefed up before planting a dental implant in it.

What is the process like/will it hurt/ how long does it take?

Getting bone grafts is a single visit procedure, and takes about 45 minutes to an hour. It is an invasive oral surgical procedure in which your gums will be removed from the jawbone, the material will be put there together with the dental implant, and then the gums will be sewn back over it. The procedure happens under local anaesthetic so you will not feel anything at all.

What is bone graft material? What is it made out of, is it vegan/ethically sourced/ fair trade/etc.?

Bone grafting materials are tiny granules of artificial bone material. These materials are 100% synthetic and are thus vegan, but not organic and not naturally occurring in any sense of the word. There is not much information about where the basic compounds used to make the bone grafting materials come from, so it is difficult to find the sources, but medical supplies are usually made locally, by highly paid engineers.

Why is the healing time so long?

Your body will need some time to integrate the bone graft material into the jawbone itself. The granules will dissolve into bone material that the reminder of the bone cells will grow and incorporate them into the matrix of hard tissue that is your porous bone material. This takes around six months to full achieve.

Can any jawbone be fixed with this method?

Not any, but most. Certain medical conditions, like diabetes, osteoporosis, haemophilia and severe necrosis of the jaw make it impossible to get dental implants or bone grafts.       

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