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What Is a Dental Bone Graft?
A dental bone graft is a surgical dental procedure that is often performed to bolster a patient's jaw bone density. This makes it possible for them to get dental prosthetics such as implants.
An implant is an artificial root that is inserted into a patient's jaw. It can serve as an artificial root to hold a crown in place. Implants can also be used to secure other dental prosthetics like bridges and dentures.
Implants are a popular way to replace missing teeth thanks to the many benefits. Unfortunately, not all patients have the bone tissue needed to hold implants in place. Such patients need a dental bone graft to become eligible for the procedure.
Why a dental bone graft may be needed
When a person loses a tooth, the jaw's bone tissue can also suffer loss of mass. It is similar to the way muscles work. Use them and they remain strong and healthy. Stop using them and they begin to disintegrate.
When a person loses a tooth and does not replace it with an implant, the area of the jaw that once secured the tooth's root is no longer stimulated. As a result, it begins to break down, leading to changes to the person's face like the appearance of wrinkles.
Bone grafting is typically not needed if an implant was inserted immediately after a person lost a tooth. However, without one, the body responds by shrinking the jawbone around the area of the lost tooth, resulting in potentially significant bone loss. Such people may find out they are not eligible for implants without getting a graft.
How are dental bone grafts done?
So, what exactly does this procedure consist of? Commonly, it involves extracting a piece of bone from another part of the patient’s body or jaw and transplanting it into the deteriorated area where the dental implant will later be inserted.
The bone grafting material does not necessarily have to come from the patient. There are other options, such as obtaining it from a cadaver, animal or synthetic source. This eliminates having to perform additional surgery for the extraction.
Once the jaw bone heals after such a transplant, which can take up to three months, the patient should be able to get implants. This involves the insertion of a titanium post into the jawbone. The implant is given up to six months to fuse with the patient's jaw before being fitted with a crown. Depending on a number of factors like the patient's health and the location of the dental bone graft, a dentist may opt to perform a bone graft and install an implant at the same time.
Need a dental bone graft?
At Randal S. Elloway DDS, Inc, we have years of experience performing bone grafts and installing implants. Get in touch with our Red Bluff clinic if your dentist has recommended getting bone grafts to bolster the bone tissue in your jaw.
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