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Why bone grafts might be necessary

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With pre-implant procedures like bone grafts, we can build up the quality of bone in the jaw and help create a habitable environment for the implant to firmly secure.

We have vegan bone graft options available. Our bone augmentations cost £950 – see how we can integrate them with your treatment.

Dental implant procedures that might require bone grafts:

In some cases, you may need only minor bone grafting placements.

  1. Single and multiple implant placements (missing teeth not in a row)
  2. Implant-supported dentures and implant-retained dentures
  3. Implant-supported crowns

Implant procedures that might be able to avoid bone grafting:

  1. Implant-supported bridges
  2. All-on-4/All-on-Six (Immediate Loading or Same Day Teeth)
  3. Zygomatic or mini-implants

Speak to one of our implant dentists to see if you qualify for any of the above.

Bone graft process and healing

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There are several approaches our dentists can take when bone grafting. However, the basic procedure is mostly the same; one of our oral surgeons will make an incision in the jaw and attach the other bone material.

The preferred approach is to take bone from your hip, tibia or back of the jaw, referred to as autografts, considered the dental gold standard for promoting faster health and new bone formation.

Types of dental bone grafts include:

image of dentist setting up the surgery

  • Autografts – taking bone from your own body
  • Allografts – taking bone from a different person (a cadaver)
  • Xenografts – using bone from other species like cows or pigs
  • Alloplasts – uses synthetic material

The process is simple and performed under anaesthesia.

First, a dental technician will clean the affected area and incision in the gums to separate it from the bone where the graft will be positioned.

Next, we will place the bone material between the two sections to encourage them to fuse and grow together.

From here, the bone graft is secured with dissolvable adhesives like membranes or special screws and the incision is sewn back up to allow for a period of healing.

The recovery and aftercare

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Following the bone graft procedure, it is likely that you will leave our dental office with gauze packed around the incision site.

Our dentists will give you a list of post-operative care tips and instructions for changing the dressing over the next 24 hours. We will also give you a prescription to prevent any infections from arising.

Typical post-operative care tips include:

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  • Applying ice packs to help reduce pain and swelling (should subside after the first day or two).
  • Eat soft, bland foods for the first few days.
  • Sleep with your head slightly elevated for the first few nights to prevent blood pooling at the incision site.

Please avoid hot liquids (coffee and soup), hard or crunchy foods, or any physical activity during the recovery period. After a few weeks, your jaw will begin to feel normal.

However, it will not be ready or be strong enough to hold implants for a further few months.

But as our patient, you can trust that we will look after you during this period and provide you with a high level of patient care that will help you remain comfortable throughout the entire process.

Book a consultation to see how we can help.

FAQs

Are dental bone grafts painful?

It is normal to expect some discomfort or slight pain after the procedure – but this is no more pain than you would expect from a typical tooth extraction. Pain can be managed with over-the-counter pain relievers.

How long does a bone graft take?

The total time of the procedure can take as little as 45 minutes, depending on how cantankerous the underlying tooth is.

How long will I have to wait for implants?

Patients are advised to wait up to six months to allow the site to heal and the bone to fuse successfully with the jawbone.

Are bone grafts worth it?

As they successfully rebuild bones in areas with a deficiency, bone grafts ensure that there is enough healthy bone to support your implant treatment and prevent facial sagging.

Are bone augmentations necessary?

Suppose you want a fully reconstructed smile with conventional implant treatments. In that case, bone augmentation is likely to be required if we find that you have an inadequate amount to support your final restoration.

Can bone grafts be avoided?

In some cases, our patients can avoid bone augmentations altogether. For example, opting for other implant-based treatments like Implant-supported bridgework or All on 4 can provide you with a graftless solution to replacing missing teeth.

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