Bone grafting is a process of taking a bone material and transplanting it in the patient’s jawbone to provide the right support to the dental implants. Bone grafting is most often done during the tooth extraction process to prepare the missing tooth socket for an implant in the future. This is often called ridge preservation, bone fill, or socket preservation.
While you might have heard about dental implants, bone grafting is not a commonly used term. If you lost a tooth or have a damaged tooth, then before you get an implant, your experienced oral surgeon will perform a tooth extraction and bone grafting surgery.
What is Bone Grafting?
When patient damages or loses a tooth because of an infection, injury, or a disease, then a dental implant is a long-term and safe solution. Implants look and feel natural and provide the patient with the same function as their natural teeth. However, if the tooth has been damaged, broken, or chipped, the oral surgeon will often have to perform tooth extraction and bone grafting procedure first to prepare the area for a dental implant.
Bone grafting is when the oral surgeon places bone material in the jawbone to replace missing or diseased bone. Bone grafts are often recommended at the same time as tooth extraction. It is also called a ridge preservation graft and is directly placed in the socket after tooth removal.
The grafting material prevents the bony walls from caving in and offers a stable, firm foundation for the future dental implant. Bone grafting during tooth extraction doesn’t cause any added discomfort. It takes about three to six months to heal and be ready for an implant.
When is Bone Grafting Required?
Bone grafting is needed when the patient doesn’t have enough healthy natural bones in their mouth that can support dental implants. This natural bones deficiency can be due to several reasons, including:
- Empty spaces after tooth extractions
- Face trauma or injury
- Gum disease
- Development defects
Who Requires Bone Grafts?
Individuals who have lost or damaged a tooth might require a bone grafting procedure before getting dental implant surgery. Even if the patient immediately goes to the oral surgeon to ask for an implant after losing a tooth, bone grafting may be required before implant placement due to inadequate bone volume to support the implant. Sometimes the oral surgeon can perform the bone graft at the same time of implant placement. There are other times when the oral surgeon needs first to perform a bone graft and then place the implant three to six months later after the bone graft procedure has healed.
The longer the patient waits for an implant after tooth loss, the more bone loss occurs. That is why bone grafts are essential to ensure the implant gets the right bone support it needs.
Bone grafts during tooth extraction might be time-consuming but are still a necessary and essential part of the dental implant process. After the bone grafting during tooth extraction, patients might experience slight discomfort, like minor bleeding, skin or gum bruising or swelling. However, these are side effects that will quickly dissipate.
Bone grafting and dental implants are extensive surgeries that must be performed by a certified professional. These procedures involve multiple sensitive steps, which is why you must ensure a qualified and experienced specialist performs these surgeries. Do you need dental implants or need more information on bone grafting? Make your appointment today, and our team will help you through the process!