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Dental Bone Graft & Regeneration – Need To Know

What to Know About Dental Bone Regeneration and Grafting

If you’re considering dental implants, you know you need a long-lasting artificial tooth solution. What you may not realize is that bone regeneration could be part of your process toward dental implants. Most dental implants are inserted directly into the jawbone to function like a natural tooth’s roots. This structure provides a solid foundation for the implant and allows you to use the replacement tooth like you would natural teeth.

Factors like oral health and the length of time you’ve been missing a tooth can weaken and thin the jaw. Bone grafting — also known as bone regeneration— is completed in situations when a patient’s jawbone cannot properly support a dental implant. Bone graft procedures provide an excellent opportunity to strengthen a jaw back to the point where it can properly support a dental implant. This could allow many patients, including you, to enjoy the benefits of dental implants and restored oral health.

What Is Bone Regeneration?

Bone regeneration is a procedure that uses other bone as a scaffold to grow new bone in weak jawbone areas. This is necessary because once you no longer have tooth roots securing a portion of your jaw, that bone will begin to deteriorate. Depending on the type of bone graft, you can expect one or more grafting procedures, a short recovery period and a longer healing period.

Types on bone grafts

Based on your situation, there are three different types of bone grafts you may require:

  • Socket graft: A socket graft typically occurs after a patient has a tooth extracted. The procedure seeks to repair or protect the socket that remains after the extraction. Bone material is typically inserted directly into the socket to encourage new growth that could support an implant.
  • Ridge preservation graft: A ridge preservation graft seeks to maintain and rebuild the alveolar ridge located in the roof of a patient’s mouth behind the front teeth. Tooth extraction in this area leaves an empty socket in the ridge bone. Preservation grafts use bone material to protect and rebuild this ridge to support a dental implant.
  • Sinus graft: The roots of some of your upper teeth extend upward into your empty sinus cavity. When one of these teeth is extracted, the empty socket leaves a thin section of bone separating the mouth from the sinuses. To perform a successful dental implant placment in this area, a patient may undergo a sinus graft to thicken this wall of bone to the point where it can support an implant.

For some, bone grafting for dental implants may seem intimidating and spark several questions. Other common questions you have about bone regeneration include:

  • Are dental bone grafts necessary? Bone grafts are not always necessary, but they are common. If your jaw has begun to deteriorate after losing a tooth, you may need a bone graft to restore its strength. Your clinician will determine what you need to support your dental implant.
  • Is dental bone grafting painful? Like any oral surgery, you may experience swelling, bruising or bleeding at the grafting site. Your clinician may prescribe antibiotics or painkillers afterward to keep you comfortable and avoid infection.
  • What are the long-time effects of bone regeneration? When you have a dental implant placement after bone graft, the implant helps to protect the newly grown bone. The chewing you do after the graft and implant have healed will exercise the newly grown bone and keep it healthy for years to come.

When Is Bone Grafting Necessary?

Bone grafting may be necessary to treat the bone loss associated with periodontal disease. If your jawbone is soft or thin, you may also need bone grafting before you can have dental implant surgery. The implant needs sufficient support to withstand pressure from chewing. A bone graft provides the bone tissue necessary to support the implant and ensure your surgery’s success.

Your jawbone’s condition determines the extent of bone grafting required and the procedure’s success rate. In some cases, you may only need minor bone grafting, which can be performed at the same time as the implant surgery. In other cases, it may take several months before the transplanted bone can support an implant.

Pros and Cons of Bone Regeneration Options

Another variable to the type of bone graft procedure you receive includes what the bone graft is made of. Each bone graft material offers certain advantages and disadvantages based on your preferences and situation. Ultimately, your clinician will assess your case and recommend a bone option that will work best.

1. Autograft

In an autograft, a clinician uses bone from a different location on your body to help grow new jawbone. To accomplish this, bone may be harvested from your jaw, hip or tibia.

The pros of an autograft include:

  • There is a much smaller risk that your body may reject the bone during grafting.
  • Clinicians can easily take bone from nonessential areas.

The cons of an autograft include:

  • There will be an additional surgical site and procedure.

2. Allograft

An allograft uses bone from a human donor. This type of bone typically comes from a bone bank and can be implanted similarly to an autograft.

The pros of an allograft include:

  • There is no additional surgical site or procedure necessary.
  • Allografts are commonly used and available.

The cons of an allograft include:

  • The bone sterilization process may lead to slower bone graft healing.

3. Xenograft

xenograft uses bone from animals with similar bone structures as humans. This commonly includes bovine or equine bones.

The pros of a xenograft include:

  • There is no additional surgical site or procedure necessary.
  • The animal bones available are extremely similar to human bones.
  • Animal bones may reduce the risk of infection.

The cons of a xenograft include:

  • Some patients may feel uncomfortable using animal bone.

4. Alloplastic

An alloplastic graft uses synthetic material to stimulate bone growth. Alloplastic grafts typically include glass made from a mineral that naturally occurs in bone, which makes it safe for patients and suitable for bone regeneration.

The pros of alloplastic grafts include:

  • There is no additional surgical site or procedure necessary.
  • There is no risk of disease transmission from the bone.

The cons of alloplastic grafts include:

What to Expect During Bone Grafting

Your bone graft surgery experience will vary based on the type of grafting you receive and the extent of the procedure. If you undergo an autograft, a clinician will first harvest the bone. This is completed with anesthesia to ease discomfort.

what to expect during bone graftin

For the dental bone graft procedure, a clinician will administer anesthesia. They will then make an incision in the gums in the area where the regeneration is necessary and insert the bone grafting material. In some cases, they may also add a protective membrane to help the bone graft grow and succeed. To finish the surgery, clinicians will close the gums with a few stitches.

How Long Does the Bone Take to Fuse After Dental Bone Grafting?

Everyone’s mouth is unique, and there is no specific time frame for how long it takes the bone graft to fuse with the natural bones already in your mouth. Typically, it can take anywhere from three months to a year for the bone graft to merge.

How Long Does It Take to Recover From a Dental Bone Graft?

Dental bone graft recovery occurs in two general phases. In your initial recovery following the procedure, you can expect to:

  • Limit physical activity
  • Eat bland and soft foods
  • Begin taking antibiotics
  • Take painkillers as needed
  • Dress and care for the graft site
  • Experience mild swelling or discomfort
  • Ice any swollen or painful areas

Your clinician will give you instructions to help guide your recovery. In general, you can expect to feel more normal after a few weeks. After your initial recovery, your bone graft will need time to heal and grow new jawbone. You shouldn’t feel any pain during this growth process, but know that it may take several months. Your clinician will monitor the progress and decide when your jaw is ready for a dental implant surgery.

What Should I Expect During the Healing Process?

While you’re healing, it’s normal to experience some soreness and tenderness. Swelling may also occur near the surgical site, but it should subside over a few days. You may even have a slight fever after surgery, though it shouldn’t exceed 101.5 degrees Fahrenheit.

Depending on the medications you’re taking, you may also experience some dizziness or nausea. These side effects should ease within 24 hours of stopping the medication.

4 Dental Bone Grafting Recovery Tips

To make your recovery as quick and easy as possible, follow these after-surgery recovery tips:

1. Get Plenty of Rest

Resting is one of the best things you can do to help your body heal after surgery. Even when you start to feel better, you should avoid strenuous activity and any activity that could increase your chance of being hit in the face. These activities and any resulting face injury can slow your recovery and increase the risk of postoperative complications.

2. Eat Soft, Nutritious Foods

Generally speaking, you should only eat soft foods after bone graft surgery. In the days immediately following your surgery, you’ll want to eat foods that require virtually no chewing. As your incision heals, you can gradually progress to food that requires minimal chewing.

You should also eat nutritious foods to help you heal faster and reduce your risk of developing postoperative issues. Steamed vegetables, healthy smoothies and protein shakes are all nutritious, soft food options for your recovery.

3. Stay Hydrated

Staying hydrated allows your body to flush out toxins that would otherwise slow your recovery process. Drink plenty of water and avoid dehydrating beverages like coffee and alcohol. You should also avoid using a straw for drinking beverages.

4. Practice Good Oral Hygiene

Keeping your mouth as clean as possible is crucial to your recovery, as it reduces the risk of developing an infection around the surgical site. Your specific oral hygiene regimen may vary throughout your recovery, but following your clinician’s oral hygiene instructions is essential.

High-Quality Products for Your Dental Bone Regeneration and Implants

Dental bone regeneration could be a crucial step to restoring your smile. Along every step of your tooth restoration journey, you deserve high-quality care and products. At Hiossen® Implant, we provide state-of-the-art implant and bone graft options to fill these needs.

From our dental implants designed for shorter surgery times to our regeneration assistance products crafted for long-term success, we’re using technology and research to produce products that provide the best possible outcomes. For more information about how Hiossen Implant may be right for you, contact us today.