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Dental Bone Graft: Process, Healing & What It Is

A dental bone graft is required if bone loss has occurred in the jaw. The procedure is extremely common. Your dentist may recommend bone grafting teeth before getting a dental implant or when bone loss negatively impacts neighboring teeth.

If you are considering getting a dental bone graft and wish to know everything related to it, this article is for you.

What is a Dental Bone Graft?

If you have weak gum tissue or a prominent bone loss in the jaw, your dentist will recommend a dental bone substitute.

A dental bone graft involves the surgical transplantation of bone tissue into the jaw or oral cavity to promote bone growth and regeneration in areas of bone loss.

A bone graft may be required during a dental implant to ensure the long-term security of posts within the jaw. Numerous studies have shown that around 25% of jawbone density is lost within the first year after tooth loss, making bone grafting a common procedure before replacing missing teeth.

During this procedure, the bone graft can either be taken from your body (autogenous) or from a human tissue bank (allograft). In some cases, it may also be prepared from synthetic materials (alloplast).

Why Is a Dental Bone Graft Required?

Dental implants are quite famous and have a success rate of 90-95%. The success rate, however, depends on the support provided by the jawbone. If your jawbone is lacking strength, your implant may not be successful. For this reason, a dental bone graft is recommended before performing the implant procedure.

Other situations that may require bone graft teeth include:

  1.     Advanced gum disease
  2.     Defect in jawbone development
  3.     Presence of gap after removing teeth
  4.     Adding volume to the upper sinus chamber to support a dental implant

What Happens During a Dental Bone Graft Surgery?

Dental Bone Graft Surgery

During the procedure, your dentist will first numb the area with a local anesthetic. After this, an incision would be created in your gums to make the jawbone visible. Once this is done, your dentist will add a bone graft to repair the defect.

Dental Bone Graft Healing

Dental bone graft healing or recovery goes through 4 stages:

1. Stage 1 – Initial Recovery Phase

After conducting surgery between days 1-7, the initial recovery phase begins. During this stage, you may notice:

  1. Swelling may last 2-3 days after the surgery. To reduce the swelling, you can apply an ice pack to the area during the first 28 hours.
  2. Pain and discomfort will also be joint, and your dentist will prescribe pain medication to provide relief.
  3. Some bleeding would also be prominent for the first 24 hours. You can apply a gauze pad to control the blood in such cases.

During this phase, consume only soft food and avoid anything hard or spicy. Do not brush your teeth around the surgical site, and follow all the instructions provided by your dentist.

2.     Stage 2 – Early Healing Phase

Early healing will begin between weeks 2-6, and your dental bone graft will try to integrate with your natural bone. During this stage, you may notice reduced swelling and improved comfort. Since the bone would not completely heal, you must continue a soft diet and include oral hygiene practices.

3. Stage 3 – Maturation Phase

The maturation phase is the most important, as it focuses on solidifying and strengthening the dental bone graft. It usually begins between 2-6 months after the surgery.

During this stage, your graft will fuse with your natural bone and gain the required strength. You may also resume normal chewing and biting. However, you may need to focus on diligent oral hygiene for complete recovery.

4. Stage 4 – Long-Term Healing

It may take several months, from 6 months to 1 year, for your graft to completely integrate with your natural bone and provide the required support to the dental implant. After around six months, your dentist will conduct a final assessment to determine your readiness for the dental implant. This will highly depend on your adherence to oral hygiene, regular checkups, and cleaning.

What are the Factors that can Influence Bone Graft Healing?

The success or gum graft failure depends on a lot of factors:

  1.     Smoking
  2.     Other medical conditions
  3.     Nutrition
  4.     Infection
  5.     Certain medications.

To Sum It Up

A dental bone graft is an excellent option to support your dental implant and improve bone loss. However, the healing process depends on your lifestyle choices, medical conditions, and oral hygiene practices.

Ready to restore your smile?

Contact Periodontal Specialists today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Johnson, our expert in dental implants, bone grafts, and sinus lifts. 

Don’t let missing teeth hold you back – discover your options and take the first step towards a confident, healthy smile.