Are you planning on getting dental implants to replace your missing teeth? You may need bone grafting first — but don’t let that scare you away. The routine procedure, performed here in our office, is both simple and quick.
If the idea of bone graft surgery has you worried, learning more about the procedure may help put your mind at ease. Talking with your oral surgeon is best, but the following guide may address some of your concerns.
What Is Bone Grafting?
Grafting is a surgical procedure that works to reverse jawbone degeneration.
When teeth are missing, tissue in the jaw begins to break down — which is inevitable, as the tooth roots are no longer there to stimulate growth. With significant degeneration, the jawbone cannot support dental implants.
Bone graft surgery solves this problem. During the procedure, which is typically performed under oral sedation, laughing gas or IV sedation, the oral surgeon transplants bone tissue into the jaw. The graft encourages jawbone growth, and after a few months of healing, the new tissue created is enough to keep dental implants stable and secure.
Where Does the Bone Tissue Come From?
To reverse jawbone degeneration, your oral surgeon may use four types of bone grafting materials:
- Autograft — A small section of your own tissue, typically taken from the hip, leg or rib
- Allograft — Human bone from a donor, sourced from a tissue bank
- Xenograft — Biocompatible bovine (cow) or porcine (pig) bone tissue
- Alloplast — Synthetic tissue made of surgical-grade resins and minerals
Will You Need Bone Grafting Before Getting Dental Implants?
Bone grafting can be essential for the long-term success of dental implants, but not everyone needs the procedure. If you don’t have significant jawbone degeneration, you may be able to skip getting a graft and go ahead with your tooth replacement procedure.
To find out whether grafting is in your future, you’ll need X-rays. Advanced digital imaging can reveal if the density of your jawbone is sufficient for dental implants.
If your oral surgeon determines you need grafting, you’ll have input on the type of transplant tissue used. An autograft is the likely recommendation, as the material offers superior regeneration. But if you prefer a different option for any reason, say so — your comfort in the procedure is of the utmost importance.
Are you ready for tooth restoration? For expert care in the greater central Indiana area, turn to Northeast Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery.
Our highly skilled oral surgeons, Dr. Garrison and Dr. Kelly, have decades of experience successfully performing bone graft procedures and are the region’s leading tooth restoration specialists. To discuss bone grafting and dental implants with our friendly professional team, contact our Indianapolis, Indiana, office and schedule a consultation today.