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Dental Bone Grafting

Dental bone grafting is an oral surgery procedure performed to replace missing bone with a bone graft and help the body regenerate new bone in areas with severe bone loss. Bone grafting is most usually performed to prepare a tooth extraction area for the placement of a dental implant. The procedure is also referred as bone augmentation.

The Dental Implant Bone Grafting Procedure

The procedure described below refers to a typical autogenous bone graft needed for the placement of one dental implant.

The bone graft is typically taken from the patients chin. In this case the procedure can be performed in the dental office without requiring hospitalization.

  • both surgical areas (the area to receive the graft -recipient site- and the area from where it will be extracted -donor site-) are numbed with local anaesthesia.
  • an incision is first made at the implantation area to expose the bone and determine precisely how much bone is needed. Any sign of infection or inflammation is a definite stop signal fro bone grafting.
  • a second incision is made below the lower front teeth to expose the chin jaw bone.
  • a suitable block of bone is removed from that area.
  • the bone graft is placed at the recipient site and secured with titanium screws if needed.
  • sometimes the bone graft is mixed with some other bone-graft material and/or bone growth factors. Some bleeding may also be induced because blood provides cells that help the bone heal.
  • the dentist may also place allograft material at the donor site to help repairing the chin bone.
  • both surgical sites are covered with barrier membranes to protect the area and help the guided bone regeneration process.

Aftercare - Instructions after dental bone graft

You must always follow your oral surgeon's instructions after dental bone graft. Proper aftercare is important in order to minimize possible complications. If the bone graft fails, you will have to repeat the dental bone graft procedure and delay the placement of dental implants.

  • After the bone graft procedure, the dentist will prescribe antibiotics, pain medication and an antibacterial mouthwash. Some pain is expected for about a week after the procedure.
  • You should avoid putting pressure on the bone graft area while it heals.
  • A soft diet is recommended for some days. Hot foods should also be avoided.
  • Edentulous patients may find it difficult to wear their denture until the area heals.
  • You must maintain good oral hygiene, but avoid disturbing the bone graft area.

How long after bone grafting can I get my dental implant?

The bone graft will take about 3 to 12 months to heal before dental implants can be placed.

The time required after dental implant bone grafting before the implants are placed depends on the amount of the grafted bone, the type of dental bone graft used and if any bone growth accelerating factors are used. During this period the dentist will monitor the healing process.

When the dentist determines that the bone regeneration process has completed successfully, will proceed in placing the dental implant. If any screws were used to anchor the dental bone graft or membrane in place, they will be removed before the dental implant is placed.

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Last update: 03/03/2014