For patients that are seeking out dental implants, they may go to the dentist and hear that they are going to have to have to undergo bone grafting before they are able to have their dental implants placed. The obvious questions that follow involve what bone grafting is and the purpose of bone grafting.
What Is Grafting?
Bone Grafting is the procedure of adding bone to an area of the mouth where it is missing. It can be used in any area of the mouth where it is needed. When adding it to a patient’s mouth, the dentist will use one of three types of bone: autogenous, allograft, or alloplasts. Autogenous bone belongs to the patient receiving it. Allograft bone refers to a donor and alloplasts are synthetic substitutes. The dentist may use a combination of the above as well.
In conjunction with the bone, the dentist may add PRP, a healing agent that comes from your blood and is accessed through the IV. The area will be closed off with either artificial collagen or donor membrane.
Why Is It Performed?
Bone grafting is performed for two reasons: to create enough bone for dental implants or to fill out deterioration under the gums. Bone creation is often needed when a patient has been without teeth for a while or for another reason has lost bone in the area where the implant will be placed. The dental implant will need the bone in order to hold it in place. If the bone grafting is to fill out the bone alone, the reason is generally cosmetic or for gum contour reasons.
Many times the dental implant can be placed at the same time the bone grafting surgery is performed. However, this will often depend on the facility that your implants and grafting are being conducted in and the size of the area that has to be grafted.
When grafting is done before the implant is placed, healing time for the bone to heal prior to having the implant placed can be from 4 to 6 months.