Dental implants are an excellent treatment, but they must be surrounded by several millimetres of strong, healthy bone to fuse successfully with the jawbone. Inadequate or poor jawbone quality could cause implant failure. Bone grafting is a routine treatment before dental implants and only requires a small surgical procedure.
Jawbone loss can occur after natural teeth are removed, or because of periodontal disease or trauma. Sometimes there is an inadequate amount of bone to support dental implants. Bone grafting ensures there is plenty of strong, healthy bone, allowing implants to heal and fuse with the bone more successfully. It is a common procedure that helps to ensure treatment is a long-term success. Also, bone grafting can help to improve the aesthetic appearance of dental implants, creating a more natural appearance and ensuring gum tissue is properly supported so it can frame implant teeth correctly.
Bone grafting uses special materials to build up the height or width of your jawbone in a procedure called ridge augmentation. Sometimes, we can place the bone grafting material in an empty tooth socket immediately after its removal; a technique called socket preservation.
There are several types of bone grafting materials that are used, depending on your situation and preference. One option is taking the bone from another site in your body, usually from your chin or hip. A block of bone is harvested and is grafted into place and secured with small titanium screws. The advantage of this bone graft is that rejection is unlikely because it is your bone, but it does mean additional surgical procedure to harvest the bone. Another solution is donor bone that may be bovine or human, and the bone is sterilized and rigorously tested to ensure it is entirely free from disease and infection. The organic material is removed from the donor’s bone leaving behind a framework of minerals that help to encourage new bone growth. Often, synthetic bone materials are used, and which are safe and reliable, contain special proteins encouraging new bone growth in areas where it is needed. We utilise centrifuge technology for patients requiring bone grafting, using your bone and stem cells to stimulate growth factors and ensuring a more successful treatment outcome.
We can place your bone graft using a local anesthetic, or if you prefer, we can discuss additional dental sedation to ensure you feel entirely comfortable during your treatment. Afterward, we will give you precise instructions on how to care for the site while it heals. If needed, we will prescribe antibiotics, but you should be able to continue with everyday life while your bone graft heals. The time between a bone graft and implant surgery varies according to the size of the graft and its location, and the density of your bone.