You might have read in blogs or heard from a friend that dentists may use a procedure called bone grafting or bone regeneration. While the name might seem scary at first, the truth is that it’s one of the safest and most painless procedures a patient can go through, but what is it exactly a bone grafting?.
Bone grafting is the process by which a dentist reinforces the bone in the jaw area by placing a transplant from either your bones (the gold standard) or a synthetic bone graft, each with their pros and cons, for example, while the first option tends to be more effective, the synthetic alternative eliminates the post-operation discomfort in the harvested area; regardless, the rate of fusion is adequate in both cases. The process is actually very simple; once the bone transplant is placed the afflicted area is covered by the gums and stitched, afterwards the patient just needs to wait, the regeneration process can take anywhere from 2 up to 9 months depending on the natural healing speed of the patient and the size of the treated area.
Bone grafting is usually used to provide additional support for future implants, especially in patients with significant bone loss. The support provided by this procedure not only facilitates the implant placement but it also provides a sturdier implant and prevents food collection, which in turn could lead to infections and implant degradation. Interestingly enough, bone grafting has some aesthetics benefits as well, first, it helps in covering the implant giving the patient a very natural smile, and it can even take a few years off your face, since patients suffering from bone loss tend to look “sunken in” and older.
How do you know if you suffer from bone loss?
The most common reasons are:
- Tooth loss
- Sinus enlargement
- Mouth Infections
- Periodontal disease
If you have ever suffered of one of this you might need bone grafting, of course, your health professional always has the final say, after an exam the dentist will inform you what are your choices and, if required, where will the transplant be taken from, do keep in mind that the bones are taken from areas that regenerate bone tissue quickly, so, even if some mild discomfort is expected, you will recover in no time, and the risks are minimal. Remember that an adequate bone graft will dramatically increase the success rate of other procedures and make the aftercare a lot easier.