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An Oral Surgeon Explains When a Bone Graft Is Recommended
When considering implant restoration procedure, an oral surgeon may recommend a bone graft as part of the process. One of the most common consequences of tooth loss is jawbone density loss, which typically occurs when a tooth is not restored quickly. Eventually, if the patient wants to get dental implants, they may not have enough jawbone left to support them. In such cases, a bone graft procedure may be necessary.
What is a bone graft?
A bone graft is a surgery done to boost or augment bone tissue. During the procedure, the oral surgeon will take bone material either from other parts of the patient’s body or from an external source such as a donor. The bone is used to fill the deteriorated section of the jawbone. After the grafting procedure, the bone will need time to heal and integrate with the new material. The healing period typically depends on the patient. After that, the area should be denser and strong enough to hold dental implants.
Although bone grafts are generally associated with dental implant procedures, they can also be performed soon after tooth removal. This is done to stop the alveolar bone in the tooth socket from disintegrating. Bone resorption starts soon after tooth removal, so the bone graft is a proactive way to keep the bone intact.
Why bone graft is necessary during dental implants
Although the material used for making dental implants is durable, they still rely on the jawbone for support and stability. An implant is made from titanium, a biocompatible metal that can integrate with bone tissues. Like the tooth root, the implant post sits inside the jawbone. The integration process is what makes dental implants the most reliable and durable dental restoration available.
If the implant is placed without adequate bone density and support, the risk of failure is higher. The oral surgeon will perform a full examination to ensure the patient is eligible for dental implants. The patient must be free of oral health diseases and be in good health to undergo bone graft surgery. With the procedure, patients that have previously been disqualified for dental implants can now be eligible, including people who have suffered facial trauma and severe bone resorption.
When else it may be recommended
The surgeon can also use a bone graft to restore the shape of the patient’s jaw. The defect may occur due to tumor surgery, congenital disabilities or traumatic injuries. The oral surgeon will use the bone taken from the patient to correct large defects. The bone may be harvested from different parts of the body, depending on the quantity required, including the skull (cranium), lateral knee (tibia) or hip (iliac crest). The procedures are usually done in an operating room.
If you are missing a tooth and want to get dental implants, book a consultation with an oral surgeon. Even if you do not have the required bone density, the surgeon may be able to perform a bone graft to improve bone volume to allow for dental implants.
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