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Those who have worn dentures for years are likely to have suffered bone loss. This does not mean you are unable to receive dental implants; you can still have successful implant surgery through a clinically proven procedure called bone grafting.
Bone loss is bad news, not only for your teeth, but also for the facial structure. If a tooth is lost and not quickly replaced with a dental implant, over time the bone behind it will recede and give the face a sunken appearance. Bone grafts revitalise and rejuvenate the face while providing the best possible foundation for implant treatment.
Here’s how it works:
We know that just like any surgical procedure, a bone graft can be daunting. We are more than happy to talk you through your procedure step by step and work out the best arrangement for you. We’ll always make sure you’re fully aware of every option and comfortable with your informed decisions before moving forward.
A bone graft is a surgical procedure in which bone or bone-like material is transplanted to a specific area of the body, typically to aid in the healing and regeneration of bone. In dentistry, bone grafts are commonly used to create a stable foundation for dental implants or to preserve the jawbone after tooth extraction.
There are several reasons why a person may need a bone graft. One common reason is to support the placement of dental implants. Dental implants require a sufficient amount of healthy bone to successfully integrate and provide stability. If you have experienced bone loss due to factors like gum disease, trauma, or tooth extraction, a bone graft may be needed to rebuild the bone structure before implant placement.
There are various types of bone graft materials that can be used during the procedure. Autografts involve using your own bone, usually taken from another area of your body, such as the hip or chin. Allografts use bone from a donor, typically from a bone bank. Synthetic or bone-like materials can also be used. Your dentist will determine the most appropriate type of bone graft material for your specific case.
During the bone graft procedure, you will be placed under local or general anaesthesia to minimise discomfort. After the surgery, it is common to experience some minor swelling, bruising, and discomfort in the area. Your dentist will provide you with appropriate pain medication to manage any post-operative pain. Most patients find the pain to be manageable and resolve within a few days.
The healing time for a bone graft can vary depending on factors such as the size and location of the graft, the health of the patient, and the type of graft material used. In general, it takes several months for the graft to fully integrate with the existing bone. During this period, it is essential to follow your dentist's instructions, maintain good oral hygiene, and avoid activities that may disrupt the healing process.
Like any surgical procedure, bone grafts do carry some risks. These may include infection, bleeding, nerve damage, or graft failure. However, with proper pre-operative evaluation, careful surgical technique, and post-operative care, the risks are usually minimal. It is essential to discuss any concerns or questions you may have with your dentist before undergoing a bone graft.
In general, most individuals are candidates for bone grafts. However, certain medical conditions or habits, such as smoking or uncontrolled diabetes, may affect the success of the procedure. Your dentist will evaluate your specific situation and medical history to determine if you are a suitable candidate for a bone graft.
The timing for placing dental implants following a bone graft can vary. In some cases, implants can be placed simultaneously with the graft, while in others, a healing period of several months is necessary to ensure proper integration. Your dentist will determine the most appropriate time frame for dental implant placement based on your individual healing progress and oral health.
A successful bone graft can provide a stable foundation for dental implants or support the preservation of the jawbone for many years. However, it is crucial to maintain good oral hygiene and regular dental check-ups to ensure the longevity of the graft. Factors such as smoking, poor oral hygiene, or certain medical conditions may affect the long-term success of the graft.
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