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Dental Bone Grafting For Dental Implants

As dental implants continue to supplant alternative treatments to replacing missing teeth, more and more people are inquiring to find out whether or not the surgery is right for them. The placement of dental implants requires careful consideration and evaluation. Patients who are in general good health with healthy enough gums and enough bone in the jaw to support an implant, may be eligible for a dental implant while requiring no additional procedures. However, for some people looking into the possibility of dental implants, a dental bone graft may be required in order to ensure that there is enough bone to support your new teeth. Bone augmentation is a term that describes a variety of procedures used to build up enough bone so that dental implants can be placed. These procedures typically involve a process called grafting, which adds bone or bone-like materials to the jaw. Bone grafting is considered one of the most challenging procedures to undertake in a dental office.



Why Consider the Bone?


When a dental implant is placed, the goal is to ensure that it is strong enough to support a tooth or set of teeth on top of it. A dental implant is a small screw-shaped post that is inserted into the jawbone and acts as an artificial root, replacing the root of the natural tooth. An artificial replacement tooth is then attached to the implant, which acts as an anchor to secure the tooth in its place.  Great care must be taken in order to ensure that there is sufficient volume of the bone around it in height, width, and depth to provide your new teeth with strength and stability.



As a general guideline, at least 1 mm of bone is required around a dental implant. Where as 2-3 mm may be required when the implant is next to a tooth or another implant.



Where Does The Bone Come From?


An excellent choice for a bone graft is your own bone, which will most likely come from your chin or ramus, which is the back part of your lower jaw. However, do to advances in technology, we can now use other forms of bone other then the patients own.  Types of bone that can be used to regrow a patient’s jaw include, human bone from another person, usually a cadaver, or bone from another species, such as bovine bone.  One must understand that both these types of bone, human cadaver and/or bovine, are very safe to use, have no live cells, blood vessel or any traces of disease in them at all.  They come in a sterile form and have been used with high success for many many years. Often these types of bone are mixed with a small amount of the patient’s own, and then stabilized into the site where it is needed.



How Long Does The Bone Graft Take To Heal?


The success rate for bone grafts in the jaw for the purpose of placing dental implants is very high. `After you successfully receive a bone graft, you will not be eligible for dental implants right away. Typically, a bone graft may take about six to nine months to heal before dental implants can be placed. At that time, the titanium screws or tacs used to anchor the bone in place will be removed before the implant is placed.


Dental bone grafting allows patients without enough bone in their jaw to experience the aesthetic, comfort, and functionality of dental implants.