The dental implant procedure is an extremely complex procedure which can include a number of surgeries depending on the individual needs of the patient. When placing dental implants it is important to ensure that the level of bone is sufficient to achieve a successful procedure. Where the level of bone is not sufficient dentists often use bone grafting to rebuild bone around the jaw area. This article will aim to give you further information about what to expect from a bone grafting procedure.
What are the different types of bone grafts available?
There are four main types of grafting procedure Autografting, Xenografting, Allografting, and Alloplastic grafting.
Autografting describes the process of taking bone from another part of the body (usually the hip bone) and inserting it into the mouth. This type of grafting has a high success rate as the graft material is already compatible with the implant site.
This form of grafting uses donor bone from other humans. It is relatively successful as the human bone has good compatibility with the bone of the patient. This method will be employed where no suitable donor site can be found in the patient’s body.
During this procedure, bone tissue is taken from an animal as opposed to a human body. The success rate is not as high for this procedure due to the fact that the bone from an animal is less compatible than that from the patient’s body. In this case, the animal material remains in the implant site as ‘filler’ material and later natural bone grows to fill this space.
This procedure utilizes a completely synthetic graft material normally calcium phosphate. This material is able to imitate the properties of natural bone. In rare cases, actual synthetic, non-compatible materials will be used although these material are simply put in place as a platform for natural bone to grow on.
What are the usual steps for the bone grafting procedure?
Once your dentist has determined that the area surrounding your implant site has insufficient bone tissue the following procedure is usually employed:-
- Gum is cut at the site of the implant.
- A skin flap is created.
- Bone for the graft is inserted into the site and covered with a protective barrier material or membrane.
- Gum is restitched.
What is the healing time for the bone grafting procedure?
Healing time is usually 4 months. During this time your dentists will check on the success of the graft by performing x-rays to check the growth of the new bone. Once the dentist is satisfied with the procedure and the site is totally healed, your dentist will proceed to fit your dental implants.
Read our step by step guide to the dental implant procedure to find out what to expect from your dental implant surgery.