Bone grafting has become a very routine procedure for dental implants in this day and age. If an individual loses a tooth, getting a dental implant is a great replacement option. Implants actually look and function in a manner similar to a regular tooth. More often than not, implants are undetectable.

Just like other surgeries, there are necessary precautions and considerations to make before undertaking a dental implant procedure. The possibility of needing a bone graft before the dental implant is done is one of the main things that has to be determined. Bone grafting is basically the restoration of the jawbone to allow it to support the implant. A bone grafting comes in handy when your surgeon has sufficient reason to believe that you have a soft or thin jawbone. If an implant is done when a patient has this condition, then the jawbone might not support the new tooth and the procedure could result in an implant surgery failure.

Bone Grafting Tissue Sources

There are four main bone graft tissue sources, and they include:

  • Autogenous – bone grafts are harvested from other parts of a person’s body, like the hip or the chin. This is always the most effective way to harvest the tissues as the graft will use the patient’s own living cells and promote natural bone growth.
  • Allogenic – bone grafts come from tissue banks.
  • Xenogenic – other species are the source of the graft tissue.
  • Synthetic – bone grafts are bone material, artificially made with material containing calcium phosphate.

The 3 Main Bone Grafting Procedures

There are three main types of procedures often used:

  • Sinus Lift Procedure, otherwise known as the Sub-Antral Graft, which mainly involves the maxilla (upper jaw).
  • Chin Graft, also known as Autogenous Ramus, or Block Bone Graft, which involves the harvesting of a patient’s native bone.
  • Alveolar Ridge Preservation Graft, also known as the Socket Graft, which basically prevents the body from reabsorbing the supporting bone when a tooth is extracted by grafting.
  • How It Works

    How these procedures work is quite simple. The surgeon will take the bone grafts from either of the four sources above – depending on the most suitable to the patient – and graft the tissue into the jawbone of the patient. The procedure is done using a specific grafting material. The time in which the implant will be done is dependent on how fast the bones will fuse. Minor bone grafts can have the dental implants done immediately on the same day. However, in the case of major bone graft, patient’s have to wait for months to allow the implant to fuse with the natural jawbone. It usually takes between 4 to 9 months for the fusing to be complete.

    The source of the graft tissue often plays a great role in determining the period it takes for the fusing to take place. Autogenous sources tend to take much less time since it is actually a person’s own tissue being used. Other external sources tend to take more time. The surgeon will be the one to determine the best time for the implants to be placed, depending on your recovery.

    The implants work just as perfectly as a natural tooth. Patients get the chance to regain their lost tooth and are given the chance to have an even brighter smile.

    If you would like more information on dental implants or other dental procedures, contact the office Larry D. Molenda, D.D.S. located in San Marcos, TX.