Depending on its amount, the jaw bone has a coherent force on the teeth. For the most part of our lives, we can maintain the amount of bone in our jaw by chewing. But when we lose a tooth, we no longer chew in that place of our jaw. Therefore the bone mass begins to decline and jaw bone loss occurs, as the bone does not play a functional role anymore. They may also be lesions, illnesses, accidents that involve the reduction of the jaw bone volume. In these cases, dental bone grafting can help.
The main points of our article are the following:
- What is bone graft for dental implant?
- Procedure of a bone graft for dental implant
- Bone graft for dental implant in the upper jaw
- What (not) to do after bone graft surgery?
- How long is the recovery?
- What are the risks?
- Frequently asked questions about dental bone grafting: Dental bone grafting cost
Dental bone grafting is a surgical procedure which, with the appropriate method, complements the existing amount of bone in the jaw. This procedure makes it possible for the patient to have an implantation in the future. For bone grafting dentists can use autogenous bone, bone substitute materials of animal origin or synthetic bone. You can find more information about the dental bone graft material on our site. Dentists can perform bone graft for dental implant both in the upper and in the lower jaw.
Before starting the dental treatment, the dentist carries out a radiological and/or a digital volume tomography for assessment. This is a special digital x-ray imaging method for examining the bone in the upper and lower jaw as well as the teeth. As a result of the examinations, the doctor can determine whether the patient needs dental bone grafting. If yes, the dentist can also establish how much additional bone volume is necessary. After this assessment the dental bone grafting in the upper jaw can begin.
- The first step is the anesthesia. Then the doctor opens the gingival, so that he can access the bone. Following this he intersects a small “window” in the bone.
- The second step is the operation itself. A membrane located between the nose and the mouth must be removed to create an open space that is used to fill in the bone graft material.
- As the final step, the dentist uses an artificial membrane, which helps the process of the wound healing. Then the gum where the dental bone grafting took place is sewed together.
- A healing period follows the surgery. After recovering, the patient and the dentist meet again for a consultation. In base of this the dentist can carry out the implantation.
Previously, dental implants were only used in the lower jaw, as the upper jaw and the sinuses resulted in a number of difficulties with inserting the implant. Due to the inferior quality of the bone, in many cases it was not possible to create a stabilized condition for the implants. To solve this problem, they used to have removable dentures.
Thanks to the developed medicine, removable dentures are not necessary anymore, as dental bone grafting in the upper jaw has become a routine intervention.
The first few days after the surgery are prominently important during the recovery. At this time, it is important to follow the instructions prescribed by the doctor and the diet you need precisely.
As long as you feel the effect of the anesthetics, do not eat or drink, as you can swallow wrongly or bite your tongue. If you experience excessive bleeding or difficulty when opening your mouth, talk to your doctor. Apply ice packs externally to the operated on area for about 10 minutes and then take a break for 10 minutes. After the dental bone grafting surgery, use a soft-bristled toothbrush. Do not drink coffee, tea, alcohol and do not smoke for 24 hours after the surgery.
If you can, relax as much as possible. When sleeping, support your head with a pillow and sleep on your back. Avoid activities and sports that involve increased physical activity at least in the first week.
Recovery can take from 3 to 9 months, depending on the type and extent of the required dental bone grafting. The recovery time also depends on the individual’s health.Certain serious diseases such as osteoporosis or diabetes may delay the recovery. The good condition of the immune system facilitates recovery: the faster the cell regeneration, the shorter the healing process.
Specialists divide the postoperative recovery period into two stages:
The first stage of healing.
The surgical scar heals approximately in the first two weeks. The swelling decreases, the pain goes away. Ideally, the implanted material integrates into the human body and natural bone formation processes begin.
The second stage of healing.
The second stage is the waiting period until the start of other possible interventions. It takes an average of 3 to 6 months after a bone grafting surgery, for example, to begin an implantation procedure.
A longer waiting period is expected in the case of more extensive and complicated vaccination processes, in old age, and for those who do not follow medical instructions or smoke.
Swelling, bleeding, and pain are all typical symptoms to a greater or lesser extent depending on the type and size of bone grafting. There are many practices, cures, and great advice to help you cure and resolve your symptoms. However, we need to separate the much less common, but more serious problems from the unpleasant but usual problems after surgery.
With today’s developed medicine, there is only minimal risk with dental bone grafting. Nevertheless, as with any other medical intervention, complications can occur. One example is when the bone substitute material does not grow together properly with the natural bone. In this case the bone graft material must be removed and a new operation must be performed.
The cost of a dental bone grafting depends on many factors, but mainly on the amount and on the type of the grafting material. Read our article about the dental bone grafting cost to learn more.
Let’s not forget: bone grafting is a surgical procedure that has now become routine, but it has its own specific rules, legality, and schedule. Be patient, follow the instructions and give time to heal, after any possible discomfort and the implantation, our biggest reward is our beautiful, renewed denture.