One of the more common procedures that happens before getting dental implants is a bone graft. This is when a bone is too weak to support the implant’s anchors, so a new bone has to be added. This procedure takes a little bit of time, but typically allows a patient to go from struggling to repair an unhealthy part of the mouth, to having dental implants that can restore full functionality to their mouth. If you want dental implants, but were told your bones are too weak, call us here at Dr. Smith, as we can help.
Bone Grafts Are Commonly Placed
When you get a bone graft, there are three options in terms of what materials to use. Most of the time, we try to use the patient’s own bone to supplement the existing bone. This has nearly no chance of being rejected, and it often heals the quickest because it is recognized by your body. Another option is using a donor bone. This is usually safe, but it could involve your body rejecting the bone, especially if it is not well cared for following the graft and it gets infected. The third option is using a synthetic material in the bone graft. This melds with your bone and encourages new bone growth for you, after the graft is placed.
The Basic Bone Graft Procedure
Bone grafts are quite straightforward. What we do is numb the area prior to the graft, then cut through the soft tissue down to the bone. Once the bone is exposed, we put the new bone on top, and secure the materials in place. We then take the soft tissue that we moved to get to the bone, and pull it over the old bone plus the bone graft. This is sutured shut, and it helps to hold the bone graft in place. As this heals, the bones begin to grow into each other, and new bone is formed. Once the bones have fused, the area is often strong enough to hold the abutments that are required for dental implants.
After a Bone Graft
For a short time after the bone graft, you need to be gentle with your mouth. You need to eat softer foods, keep the salty and spicy foods out of your diet, and make sure that your mouth is always clean. The more you stay on top of your oral hygiene after a bone graft, the more successfully it will heal up. Make sure you follow our instructions after getting the bone graft, and you should have no problem getting the results you are looking for.
For more information on bone grafts, or to find out if you need one prior to getting dental implants, contact us at (503) 746-9361. We will schedule a consultation with you and Dr. Smith, and he can then decide what is going to be the best option to help you restore your smile. It’s time to take control over your oral health, and we are here to help you do it!