What Is Bone Grafting? Here’s All You Need to Know
If you are thinking of getting implants, then you need to bear in mind that our Seattle dentist may suggest that you undergo a bone grafting treatment. This is a normal procedure, and it is, at times, necessary before you get implants.
Bone grafting is not a new procedure and has been used for nearly over a century. Now, it is used in different medical fields to improve the lives of patients. In dentistry, it is used to replace missing bone, which is crucial for holding an implant in place.
However, it is only natural for you to feel as though the procedure is scary. But most people fear what they do not know, so the more you learn about it, the more you will get comfortable. If you are curious about what bone grafting is about, read on.
What Exactly Is Bone Grafting?
Just to calm your nerves down a bit, a bone grafting procedure is a relatively minor orthopedic surgery. The surgery aims to rebuild or repair your bones via bone tissue transplantation. When healthy bone tissue is transplanted, our dentist gets to recreate bone and supporting tissues that were missing.
In a nutshell, our dentist just makes an incision at the jaw to expose the bone; then, new bone material is grafted to it. In no time, your cells do all the work and create new cells around the new bone, and just like that, you have a new bone.
Bone is not as rigid as you think; it is malleable. This procedure enables us to get rid of old cells and make new, healthy bone cells.
When Is Bone Grafting Necessary?
Generally, a bone grafting procedure is considered necessary if you do not have enough healthy natural bone to support dental implants. This deficiency can be due to:
- Gum disease
- Development defects
- Unoccupied space after teeth extraction
- Face trauma or injury
Who Needs a Dental Bone Graft?
If you have lost a tooth, there is a high probability that you might need a bone graft before you get an implant, even if you come for a dental implant the next day after losing your tooth. There could be an infection in the socket, or the lost tooth might not be the correct size to support an immediate replacement.
The type of bone that gets affected is called the alveolar bone. The alveolar bone is the one responsible for holding and supporting your teeth. So, whenever you lose a tooth, the alveolar bone isn’t working; therefore, it starts to atrophy.
Your jawbone is designed to get strengthened and built up every time you chew. So, when there is alveolar bone loss, the jawbone will soon follow suit.
That is why it is necessary for you to get a bone graft if you have lost a tooth.
Types of Dental Bone Grafting
We have several types of bone graft that can be used depending on the extent of damage and the lost tooth’s location. However, here are the common dental bone grafts we use:
- Socket Graft
- Block Bone Graft
- Sinus Lift
The procedure aims to prevent the atrophy of the alveolar bone after tooth loss. Typically, we will use a bone from a human donor and then place it right in the socket—this aids in protecting the socket from collapsing. After the procedure, you can get an implant approximately six months later.
Whenever you have large defects in your jawbone, we will use a block bone graft to rectify the issue. Our dentist typically uses a block of bone from the back of your jawbone, usually close to the wisdom teeth.
Our dentist uses this procedure only if you have lost some of your molars, especially on the upper row. When you lose the molars, your sinus starts to reach down to fill the space that was once filled with the molars. This procedure restores the sinus and repairs the gap with a bone graft.
Is It a Must for Everyone to Get a Bone Graft Before Getting Implants?
Bone grafts are not a must for every patient. It is not a prerequisite for getting dental implants. However, some patients need it. Just to be sure, you can schedule a consultation with our dentist at Greenlake Dental to ascertain whether you need it or not.