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A lot of patients raise concerns about bone grafting for implants, because it can make the procedure lengthier and more complex. Today’s advances in implant dentistry have ensured this process goes smoothly in the majority of cases where the patient doesn’t have enough jaw bone or where the jaw isn’t strong enough on its own.

To understand how bone grafting is done you first need to understand how dental implants work and why grafting may be required.

Why Is Bone Grafting Required?

The structure of a dental implant consists of the metal screw that is embedded into the jaw, an abutment that extends from it, and the final crown that your dentist will match to your natural teeth. The metal cylinder needs to support the abutment and crown so it must be well supported by bone.

If you have had missing teeth for some time it is possible that your jaw has started to deteriorate. Some patients have bone tissue that is too soft for dental implant surgery. If this is the case your dental practitioner will perform a bone graft.

Your teeth bite and chew with considerable force, and this puts your jaw under pressure. If your jaw bone is not strong enough, your implants may fail.

What is bone grafting?

When a bone graft is performed, healthy bone is taken from somewhere else and placed into the site your dental implant is to be placed. In most cases the bone can be taken from you, the patient, but sometimes may be taken from another source. Synthetic bone grafts are also available.

You will discuss these options with your dentist when you are planning your dental implant surgery.

How Is Bone Grafting Done For Dental Implants?

Little bone grafts

Sometimes a patient only needs a minor bone graft and it is possible for this to be done, in some cases, at the same time as placing the dental implant. A little bone graft can be performed by placing granules of human bone into the socket, and then covering it up with a collagen membrane. This is done without making an incision and can heal quite quickly.

Medium and big bone grafts

If you have had more significant bone loss, you will need the bone to be surgically implanted. Your dentist will make an incision in your gum to expose the bone underneath. He or she will place the transplanted bone into the incision and then stich it up. You will wait for a few months to heal fully, and for the transplanted bone to integrate and stimulate bone growth in your jaw.

procedure bone grafting for dental implants sydney

Once your dentist is satisfied this has happened and that you have enough jaw to support your dental implants, you will move forward with dental implant surgery.

What is a sinus lift?

In the event that you have significant bone loss in your upper jaw, your dentist will perform a sinus lift so that there is sufficient bone to drill into, in order to secure your dental implants.

What Can You Expect After Bone Graft Surgery?

After your bone graft it is normal to feel some discomfort. This could include swelling, bruising and some bleeding, but this should improve in the days following your surgery.

Your dentist will recommend that you eat soft foods after your bone graft surgery, to give your mouth time to heal. Avoid chewing on hard items like ice and hard sweets, and avoid tobacco products. It is very important that you follow your dentist’s post-surgery dental hygiene advice and return for all your appointments as you recover.

Still have questions about bone grafting for dental implants? Contact our practice today to speak to a professional: (02) 9158 6326

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