What You Need To Know About A Dental Bone Graft
Bone grafts are procedures used to increase the amount of bones in parts of the body where there is not enough bone.
Bone grafts may come from anywhere else in the body and be surgically fused into place in the jaw. Sometimes synthetic materials are used instead.
If further procedures, such as implant surgery, are necessary or if there has been significant bone loss near the gum line, then a dental bone graft may be required.
To understand how dental bone grafting works, how it’s performed, and what results you may get from this procedure, read on.
A dental bone graft is an operation performed by dentists to repair damaged jaw.
Bone grafting involves making an incision in the mouth and attaching new bone material to the jawbone.
If someone loses an adult tooth or has gum disease, they may need a dental bone graft. These two conditions can lead to bone loss in the jawbone.
For most people, the best way to get rid of gum disease is by using their own bone to fill up the gaps between teeth. This is called an autograft. An autograft increases bone density in the jaw and promotes faster healing and new bone growth.
There are four different types of tissue used for facial reconstruction: autografts (taken from yourself), allografts (from another person), xenografts (from an animal)
There are different types of dental bone grafts.
- Bone grafting. This involves taking bone from one part of your body (such as your hip) and using it to repair another part of your body (your jaw).
- Allografts use bone from another person, usually a cadever.
- Xenotransplantation. This involves using animal tissue for human transplant purposes.
- Synthetic materials, such as calcium phosphate and calcium sodium phosphosilicates (bioglasses), are used for bone grafts.
We don’t know which bone grafting material is best for bone regeneration, but promising new cell-, growth factor-, and gene-based therapies are on their way.
A person who has had tooth loss due to periodontal disease (gum disease) may be a good candidate for Bone graft.
Here are some of most common reasons why you might need a dental bone graft:
Implants for missing teeth
Patients who need dental implants are often good candidates for dental bone grafting.
Artificial roots called dental implants are inserted into the jawbone. A matching crown is then placed on top of them.
Bone grafting is often necessary before implanting an artificial joint. A recent study found that almost half of the implant sites needed bone grafting first.
Tooth loss or gum disease
If you don’t receive any implants, dental bone grafts may be necessary to support sections of your jawbone that have lost bone due to tooth loss or gum disease caused by periodontal (gum) disease.
If you’re experiencing bone loss, you may be able to stabilize the jaw by using a bone graft.
Gum disease can cause further tooth loss and even serious health issues if not treated properly.
Bone loss in the jaw can affect the appearance of the face. If you’re losing bone mass in your jaw, you may be able to get a dental bone graft.
When the lower jawbone loses its bone mass, it can look like it’s protruding outwards. It can also cause the lips and muscles around it to become more wrinkly. The skin in the area can appear more wrinkly.
Osteoporosis is most likely to occur in people who are older than 65 years old.
However, people of any age who have suffered injuries to their jaws or experienced problems related to bad oral hygiene or other health issues, such as major infections or tooth decay, may also require a dental bone graft.
What is the pain associated with a dental bone graft? Is it really so bad?
A dental bone graft without using any bone material harvested from a patient’ s own body is a relatively simple procedure.
During the procedure, you’ll be sedated, so you won’t feel any pain until after you wake up. Then, the pain will typically be manageable with over-the- counter pain relievers for the first few days.
You might need prescription strength pain medication if you’re doing heavy physical labor. However, depending on how much work you’re doing, you could experience some discomfort for several months after recovering from an injury.
If bone material is taken from your own body, then the recovery may be more painful because there would be two surgeries — one at your hip and another at your jaw.
Usually, the amount of bone that‘s harvested and then grafted is quite small, so the time of discomfort should be short.
How much does a bone graft surgery cost?
Dental bone grafts can be expensive. The complexity of the surgery and the type of material used are the two major factors affecting the cost.
Bone grafts come in different forms. Some are taken from animals (cattle), some from humans (donors) and others from artificial substances (synthetic). The price for each type varies widely.
Most health insurance companies, including Medicare, don’t cover dental bone grafts.
Your insurer might pay for some of the cost if your doctor determines that the surgery is medically necessary. However, if the procedure is done purely for cosmetic purposes, there’s no chance you’ll get any help from your insurer.
What are some things I need to consider before having a dental bone graft?
There isn’t much you need to do to prepare for a dental implant. Here’s a quick checklist of things to do before the procedure.
- Eat nothing for at least eight hours before the procedure, but if you’re given general anesthesia, wait until after midnight.
- Talk to your doctor before taking any medication, including blood thinners, which raises the risk of bleeding complications.
- You should arrange for someone to pick you up afterwards, because you’ll be tired after the procedure.
What is the dental bone grafting procedure?
To perform a typical dental bone graft, here’s how it works:
- Before the procedure, you’ll receive anesthetic, and your vital signs (heart rate, blood pressure, breathing) will be monitored during the procedure.
- The dentist will clean the affected area using an instrument called a curette.
- Your dentist will make an incision into your gums to place the graft.
- A surgeon will insert a piece of bone into two pieces of bone that need to fuse together.
- The bone graft is fixed by using an adhesive material or membrane or special screws.
- After the incision has been made, it is then stitched together to begin healing.
There are three main kinds of dental bone grafting procedures. Each one is suitable for different situations affecting the jaws.
Block bone graft
Bone is usually taken from the back of your jawbone, near your third molars (where your wisdom teeth used to be).
Usually done when there has been significant bone loss at the front of the jawbone.
If bone loss occurs near the upper molars and sinuses are allowed to move downward, a bone graft is performed to stabilize the upper jaw while the sinuses are moved upward.
A bone graft is performed simultaneously with an extraction so that there won’t be any bone loss after the tooth has been pulled out.
What’s involved in recovering from a dental bone graft? Can I expect any pain afterwards?
After a dental bone grafted, you’ll likely be given gauze to pack around the incision in the back of your mouth.
You should be given directions for changing the dressing during your next 24 hour period and a prescription for antibiotics so you don’t get an infection. You might also be prescribed painkillers.
After surgery, there are some things you need to know about
- Applying ice packs to help reduce inflammation and pain for the first few days after an injury.
- Eating soft, bland foods for several days
- Sleeping with your head slightly elevated for the first few nights after surgery may help prevent blood from pooling at the site of an incision.
Avoiding these foods during the initial recovery period may help prevent some symptoms from returning.
- hot drinks, such as tea or coffee
- Nuts, such as almonds, cashews, peanuts, pecans, wal
- Any physical activity, such as activities involving contact sports, that could put the incision at greater risk.
After a few weeks, the dull pain in the back of your head should start feeling better.
You may notice some discomfort when chewing for a few weeks. However, it usually takes several months until your jaw is strong enough for implants.
Make sure to visit your dentist regularly, including at least one dental exam, to ensure proper healing.
What are the side-effects of a dental bone graft procedure?
The most common side effect of a dental bone graft is pain and swelling.
However, ice packs and over-the-counter pain relievers can help minimize discomfort. If needed, prescription strength medications may be required.
Minor bleeding and difficulty chewing and talking may occur during the first few days after starting the medication.
There are always risks associated with any surgery.
Surgery is always a risk, but taking the full course of antibiotics is especially important for surgery because infections are common after surgery. Other uncommon (but serious) potential complications include:
- blood clots
- nerve damage
- anesthesia complications
- rejection of the bone marrow transplant
When should I go to the doctor?
If complications arise during a dental bone graft, be sure to contact your dentist immediately. Common signs of trouble include:
- pain that continues for several days after the procedure.
- redness and increased inflammation around the gums
- persistent tingling or numbness
- An implant that loosens up indicates that a previous bone graft has not worked properly.
Bone grafting is used to treat tooth loss and gum disease and to provide enough bone material for dental implants.
Usually, this common procedure is safe and well tolerated, but there are risks of side effect and complications.
Taking care of your teeth by following your dentist’s advice will help minimize your chances for future problems and improve your odds of keeping your teeth healthy.