Dental Implants

Bone grafts and dental implants

Bone grafting with dental implants explained

Bone Grafts london Clinic

Dental implants are restorations, which are placed in sockets in the jaw bone to replace the root of a missing tooth; it is important that there is sufficient bone mass in the jaw to support the dental implant. If there is insufficient bone mass as a result of bone loss or bone resorption, a procedure known as bone grafting may be recommended; bone grafting is designed to build bone mass so that there is sufficient tissue to support the implant.

What is bone grafting?

Bone grafting is a process used to bolster bone mass in an area where the bone is weak; in the case of dental implants, bone grafting is used to add bone mass and density to the jaw bone so that it is strong enough to anchor the implant. Bone grafting is most commonly required in older people who have suffered bone loss.

You may need to have a bone graft if you have suffered bone loss; bone loss often occurs as a result of tooth loss, which may be the result of an accident or injury, gum disease, infection or severe decay.

Types of bone graft

There are four main types of bone graft. The most commonly used bone grafting procedure is known as an autograft; this procedure involves taking bone tissue from a different part of the body to add to the jaw bone. The bone is taken from a donor site, most commonly the hip, and added to the jaw bone. Autografts tend to produce the best results because the procedure uses the individual patient's own bone tissue, which means that integration is much more likely to be successful.

Allografts also use human bone tissue, but the donor tissue comes from a different person. Donor tissues undergo rigorous testing processes to prevent the spread of infections and illnesses. Once the donor tissue has been grafted, the body converts it into natural bone. It is also possible to use synthetic bone material to build the jaw bone; this procedure is known as an alloplastic graft.

Xenografts use animal bone tissue; most commonly bovine tissue is used (tissue from cows). The bone is processed in a special way to make it compatible with human bone tissue. The donor tissue is designed to act as a temporary measure to add dentistry while the body produces natural tissue.

Is bone grafting painful?

It is common to experience mild pain and discomfort after bone grafting; however, dentists can prescribe painkillers to ease pain. It is common for the donor site to be more painful than the jaw following grafting for dental implants, but pain should subside quickly. Patients are advised to rest and take it easy after a bone graft procedure and to allow time for the body to heal before undertaking strenuous activities.

Your dentist will explain how the procedure works, what it involves and what you can expect after the operation during the consultation stage; if you have any questions or concerns about bone grafting, you should discuss them with your dentist; they will be happy to answer your questions and give you peace of mind before you start treatment.