A bone graft is a surgical procedure in which healthy bone tissue is transferred to a site where there is significant bone loss. The body uses this healthy tissue to help repair or rebuild the bone in that area.
Bone grafts can actually be performed virtually anywhere in the body, but they’re common in dental work as well.
When you lose a tooth, the bone supporting your teeth starts to deteriorate. This can cause problems with your other teeth, or with your jaw. A bone graft is a way to support and strengthen the bone so that it can support a dental implant.
So what circumstances would cause you to need a bone graft?
Bone grafting is most often used when dental implants are needed, and when there’s not enough healthy bone to successfully support the implant.
This lack of healthy bone could be caused by:
- Trauma or injury
- Gum disease
- Length of time after losing a tooth (the bone will deteriorate over time)
Bone grafting can also be used preventatively, either to prevent teeth from falling out due to periodontal disease, or to maintain the strength of the bone after a tooth has been removed (even if an implant is not in the immediate plan).
Here are some more fast facts about bone grafts:
- Bone grafts may be needed even if you attend to a missing tooth right away. Every case is different.
- A bone graft is an outpatient procedure that can be done with either local anesthetic or sedation.
- Once the bone graft is placed, you have to wait for it to integrate with your natural bone. This Process takes about 3-4 months, but could take longer. Once it is integrated, the implant will be placed.
Your dentist is the best person to talk to when it comes to determining whether or not you need a bone graft, and regular dental visits are important for maintaining oral health and hygiene, including for your gums, teeth, and the bones that support them.
At Smile Concepts, we pride ourselves on helping our clients discover and maintain happy, healthy smiles. We’d love to help you with yours! Schedule an appointment with us today.