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Missing teeth are a huge letdown. They ruin a person’s natural smile and also pose many oral problems. However, dental implants offer a perfect solution for missing teeth as they are fixed to the jawbone using a metal post. But, a significant concern when it comes to placing dental implants is the inadequacy of jawbone volume.
What Is a Bone Graft?
Bone grafting is a procedure used to heal and promote bone growth in the jaws. It is a highly advanced and effective method, usually performed before dental implantation. Since bone tissues have the ability to regenerate naturally, placing bone grafts strategically on the jawbone would promote its growth, thereby improving its thickness and volume. After the bone graft placement, it would take a few months for the bone to heal.
Why Does the Jawbone Deteriorate?
When a person undergoes dental extraction, the extracted tooth’s socket will naturally be filled with bone tissues within a span of a few months. The walls of the socket should be thick enough for this natural regenerative process to take place. But when the walls of the socket are thin, the natural healing process would be affected. This makes dental implantation difficult as the bone isn’t strong or wide enough to support it. Also, the implant would be unstable and could get displaced due to this. In such cases, a bone graft can be done.
What Material Is Used for Performing a Bone Graft?
The material used for the procedure depends on the individual. The best results are obtained when the patient’s bone is used for performing the graft. The dentist would harvest the bone either from the mouth or any other region of the body, preferably the hip, depending on how much bone is needed. Another option available is to harvest bone tissue from cadavers. Sometimes, synthetic materials are also used.
The donor bone will be harvested and rigorously tested to ensure it is free from any possible infections. It will then be sterilized, and all the organic material will be removed from it, leaving behind only the minerals, which would promote bone growth.
The patient will be given local sedatives before the surgery. The extracted bone will carefully be placed where the bone growth is required. A special dissolvable membrane may be placed over the graft to ensure its protection and promote healthy growth. The bone graft would have to mature for a few months for it to promote bone growth, during which it will be monitored with the help of x-rays. Once the graft has fully developed, the implant can be placed.