A lot of people become shocked when they hear that they may need a bone graft for dental implants. This is completely natural, and simply means that the teeth have been missing for so long that enough of the alveolus has been absorbed so that there is not adequate space for a dental implant. Bone grafts are just what they sound; they are an augmentation of the jawbone in a given quadrant of the mouth. There are many kinds of bone augmentation therapies, but we will be talking about synthetic bone grafts only.
What is a bone graft? How is it done?
In order to fully understand the complex issue of why and how bone grafts are needed for dental implants, let’s first look at what bone grafts are, and how they are done.
A bone grafting is an invasive oral surgical procedure in which the quadrant of the mouth is opened, and the bone ridge is filled up with synthetic bone material that fuses to the jawbone, creating more space. This is needed because the soft bone ridge that holds the tooth roots, called the alveolus, is absorbed by the body if it is not housing tooth roots, meaning you will lose bone density and bone material if you have a tooth missing for a long time. In order to recreate the bone ridge, bone grafts are needed. The procedure takes around an hour, and the healing time is roughly six months. During bone grafting for dental implants, the dental implants is placed into the mouth at the same time as the bone grafting material, so by the time it solidifies, it is already holding the dental implant in place.
Additional procedures that can aid bone grafting for dental implants
Sometimes additional procedures are needed to completely remedy the situation. You may need to have a membrane inserted between your sinus and the bone graft material if you are getting the dental implant on an upper canine. You may also need to have a hygiene session before you undergo any oral surgical procedure. The extraction site will be sewn up, so you can eat as soon as the anaesthetic wears off, but do not use the quadrant to chew on until the swelling has completely gone down.