Dental implants are fixated in place by a process called osseointegration, which refers to the formation of a bond between the implant and the supporting jawbone. That implies that dental implants cannot work if they don't bond with sufficient volumes of bone. Bone grafting is a restoration procedure aimed at restoring damaged or degraded sections of jaw bone to create a solid base for a dental implant. This usually entails replacing lost bone tissues with transplanted tissues.
The alveolar bones - the bones supporting the teeth, and jawbones may become degraded due to atrophy, resulting from inactivity (in the case where the patient has missing teeth), infections, and physical impact. But as scary as bone grafting sounds, at Chicago Dental Esthetics, we use our seasoned expertise, first-rate dental equipment, and cutting-edge medications to ensure that your bone grafting procedure goes smoothly.
Who Needs Bone Grafting?
Serious degradation of bone mass may occur due to genetic and developmental defects, gum disease, facial injury or trauma, and the space vacated by missing teeth. People facing these may need bone grafting in order to get a dental implant or to improve their overall oral health. For these people, the longer it takes to get dental intervention, the larger the bone mass they lose. If you lose a tooth, it’s always advisable to get a replacement sooner rather than later to avoid bone degradation that may lead to complications and higher costs of treatment down the line.
Types of Bone Grafts
We can recommend different types of bone grafts to our patients depending on their unique personal needs. The most common type is autografting. This refers to the augmentation of degraded supporting bones using bone matter from other parts of the patient’s body. If a patient doesn’t want an autograft, we can use an allograft, which is bone matter from a donor that’s been processed in the lab. We can also use a xenograft – bone grafting materials from animals (usually cows) or alloplasts (synthetic bone materials made from granulated biomaterials).
How Does Bone Grafting Work?
After determining the best type of bone graft for you, the next thing we’ll decide on is the most appropriate bone grafting technique depending on the extent of the bone loss as well as the site of the dental implant. If the bone loss is at the early stages, we can recommend a socket graft, which is one of the simplest techniques and is geared primarily towards preventing further bone loss and stimulating bone development. Patients who undergo socket grafting are usually ready for their implants within four to six months. If the jawbone wears down into a narrow strip, we’ll recommend a lateral ridge preservation graft. If a sizable quantity of bone mass is missing, we’ll recommend a block bone graft. For upper jaw implants, we recommend sinus lift grafting generally because the upper jaw is relatively less stable to hold dental implants.
These procedures are usually painless, and any pain and discomfort after the surgery can be treated with regular over-the-counter painkillers. The recovery process takes six months on average.
At Chicago Dental Esthetics, we recommend that patients rest during the first 48 – 72 hours after surgery, lie on their back with their head properly raised, eat nutritious food, and practice good oral hygiene to fast-track their recovery. Want a seamless, painless bone grafting procedure? Call us today at (847) 677-1119.