If you’ve been considering getting new dental implants to repair your smile, you might need a dental bone graft. Bone grafting is an intricate procedure performed when you need dental implants but you don’t have the bone in your jaw to accommodate them. Your dentist will likely call a specialist to either build the bone you need or increase it to prepare your jaw for implanting. It’s a relatively long process that might take months and with a little patience, you’ll receive the smile you’ve always dreamed of.
Patients usually need dental implants when they have missing teeth they would like replaced. Most people are unaware that the moment you lose a tooth, you begin losing bone in your jaw. Also, your other teeth gradually change their arrangement and naturally gravitate to accommodate the empty space caused by a lost tooth. This results in a restructuring of your jaw’s bone structure. You might have enough bone when you schedule your appointment for the dental implant procedure but it’s very possible that by the time the operation is due, the bone you need has decreased.
Who administers Dental bone graft?
It is very unlikely that your dentist will perform the bone grafting. He or she will call an oral surgeon or a periodontist who are qualified specifically for such a procedure as this. It’s therefore important that you discuss how calling in specialists will affect the cost of the entire procedure.
Types of Dental bone graft
There are three general types of bone graft. Since it involves increasing bone in your jaw, bone and bone-forming proteins have to be harvested in order to be injected into your gums. The first type of bone graft is called autogenous bone grafting or an autograft. This involves the specialist harvesting live bone from your chin, hip, tibia, skull or any other suitable place in your own body. If bone is to be taken from your body, it means a separate surgery needs to take place.
The second option is called an allogenic bone graft. Here, instead of bone harvested from your body, it’s taken from a bank that stores freeze-dried bone from cadavers. The last kind of graft is called a xenogenic bone graft. This type of grafting usually uses bone from a cow. Bone graft substitutes are also available. Instead of using real bone, the specialist might use synthetic products like DBM, which stands for Demineralised Bone Matrix. DBM might contain ceramic or be a graft composite. Graft composites are made out of a variety of materials like collagen, bone marrow cells and autograft. Ask your dentist and specialist to explain the benefits of using each method and how it will affect the success of the grafting operation.
In general, specialists prefer autografts because it harvests and uses live bone instead of dead bone from animals and cadavers. Live bone inserted in your jaw can rebuild bone better than its counterparts. Unfortunately, an autogenous bone graft is not recommended if you have poor bone density and it might be painful.