Bone grafting can be done for many different reasons. However, most procedures are carried out to restore your bone to its previous form following tooth loss, gum disease, trauma, or to maintain bone structure after tooth extraction. Bone grafting may also be required if your jawbone is not thick enough or is too soft. Ultimately, a bone graft can create a more solid base for dental implants. As a general guideline, at least 1 mm of bone is required around a dental implant. However, more space is required when the implant is next to another tooth or another implant – 2mm and 3mm, respectively.
In bone grafting, a piece of bone from another part of your body, or external source, is transplanted to your jawbone.
Many procedures, such as dental implants, require the bone to be as close to its original dimension and position as possible for optimum treatment results. Bone grafting is also beneficial for our outwards cosmetic appearance as the jaw and other facial bones support the skin and muscles. Without the support of underlying bones, our faces can look prematurely aged.
There are many types of bone grafts, but they all fall into one of several categoires:
- Autograft – bone used from the patient’s own body
- Allograft – bone from a genetically similar organism
- Xenograft – bone from a genetically dissimilar organism
- Synthetic – a synthetic biocompatible material
All the above sources of bone, including that of your own, simply provide a scaffold into which new bone will grow in order to be ready to receive a dental implant a few months later.
We, at Sonria, may sometimes use a supplementary technique called ‘guided tissue regeneration’, which allows slow-moving bone cells are given time to fill a space by placing a barrier material between them and the fast moving cells of the soft tissues lining the mouth.
New bone can take anything from three to twelve months before it is ready to receive dental implants.