Bone grafting is a treatment offered by experienced dentists for patients who have encountered bone loss after missing a tooth or teeth. 

In conditions that cause tooth loss, the bone underneath is also impacted. If the bone’s height and width are not sufficient for the new implant, a bone graft will be needed. 

In this guide, we will explain everything that you need to know about bone grafting to help you get a better understanding.

What is bone grafting? 

A bone graft is a small surgical procedure that can be carried out in your dentist’s office. This treatment aims to build up the bone that will hold new teeth in the future.

Dental implants and procedures of this nature are widespread. To achieve the very best results when having dental implants, dentists will often advise bone grafting if there is not enough bone to hold the dental implant.

A bone graft will ensure the dental implant, and eventually, the tooth, are both supported. These procedures are routine and should not cause any discomfort.

When is it needed in dental procedures? 

Bone grafting is needed when someone has experienced tooth loss. There are many different reasons why this may have happened. 

Some of the common conditions that can impact the bone underneath the teeth include the following:

  • Defective tooth development
  • Infection
  • Trauma 
  • Long-term use of dentures
  • Dental cavities
  • Periodontal disease, which is inflammation and infection of the gums

What are the procedures used to create the bone graft? 

There are several different types of bone grafting used today, and your dentist will be able to talk you through your options and recommend the best one for you. This includes the following:

  • Sinus lift procedure – This is a technique that is typically used when teeth are missing in the upper jaw. An incision is generally made in the area above the upper jaw or in the maxillary sinus. The dentist will move the sinus tissue upward, filling the bone tissue into the cavity that is made. Once this procedure has been completed, the dentist will wait for a few months so that the jaw can heal and remodel effectively. 
  • Ridge augmentation – If there is a lot of bone loss once you have lost your tooth, this is the procedure your dentist is probably going to recommend. An allograft is utilized to fill the void fully, restoring the bone’s former structure.
  • Socket grafting – Another type of procedure that is regularly used is socket grafting. This is used when a tooth is lost because of trauma or an infection, which then leaves a cavity in the bone within the gums. Your dentist can then use some graft material to fill this in, which acts as a base. The bone cells will then migrate around this, creating a layer of new bone cells. 

How long does it take to heal? 

Recovery for a bone graft can take anywhere between two weeks and three months. This depends on the procedure you have had. Your dentist will explain all of this to you during your consultation, making you aware of how long the recovery process will be for you and what your recovery process will look like.

You will experience a bit of soreness and swelling after the procedure. This can be managed with a number of aftercare measures, for example, placing ice packs on your gums once you have had the graft. 

Antibiotics will also typically be prescribed by your dentist afterward so that you do not run the risk of suffering from an infection after the procedure. Pain medication may also be offered should you be struggling with the pain.

woman smiling with beautiful teeth

After bone grafting, you should not wear dentures for at least a few weeks. This is because dentures place pressure on the area of the bone graft, which can hinder an effective recovery. 

Your dentist will also set-up a follow-up appointment with you so that they can monitor the healing and ensure that everything is on track.

You need to strictly maintain oral hygiene if you have had a bone graft. Brush your teeth twice per day, followed by flossing and rinsing with mouthwash. 

Puréed and soft foods will make up your diet for the first few days after you have had this treatment. This is because chewing can usually be too painful and difficult because your gums will feel number after your bone graft. It will take a few days for you to transition to solid foods.

Is bone grafting safe?

Yes, this is a safe procedure. However, you need to make sure that you choose an experienced and reputable dentist to carry out the treatment for you. This is something that you do not need to worry about at Godley Station Dental.

We have many years of experience in the industry, and we have successfully carried out this dental treatment on a wide range of patients.

What are the risks?

While bone grafting is a safe procedure, there are always risks associated with any sort of treatment, and it is important to be aware of these before you go ahead with your graft. All surgical procedures involve risks of reactions to anesthesia, infection, and bleeding. 

Some of the other risks that are unique to bone grafting include reabsorption of the graft, inflammation, rejection of the bone graft, nerve injuries, swelling, and pain.

Your dentist will talk you through all of these, and they will tell you any signs that you need to look out for that indicate you should get back in touch with your dentist as soon as possible. Nevertheless, as mentioned, these risks are very rare!

Contact us today for more information

So there you have it: an insight into bone grafting and what this entails. We hope that this guide has helped to give you a better understanding of this procedure. 

However, if you still have any queries, please do not hesitate to get in touch with the team at Godley Station Dental for more information. We would be more than happy to answer any queries that you may have and schedule an appointment for bone grafting should you need one.

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