WHAT IS BONE GRAFTING?
Bones are naturally strong; however, factors like age, ill health, and injury can strip them of their strength and vitality. The jaw, in particular, is a bone that is affected by the passage of time. Constant chewing, teeth grinding, and talking can leave the jaw weak.
If you are considering getting dental implants to replace your broken or missing teeth, then having a weak jaw can be a problem. Dental implants are like screws which are drilled into your jaw to keep the new teeth in place. Without a strong jaw bone as the foundation, your dental implants may become weak and may create problems within months of the treatment. Your jaw may even get severely damaged if care isn’t taken when the implants are inserted.
NECESSITY OF BONE GRAFTING
IF YOUR JAWBONE STRUCTURE IS DAMAGED
This is where bone grafting comes in. It is a procedure which is used to strengthen your jaw by reinforcing it with fresh bone tissue. At Somi Dental Group & Orthodontics, our staff of highly-trained dental surgeons has extensive experience performing bone grafts. They will evaluate your jaw for you and advise you whether you make a good candidate for dental implants or not. If you aren’t, they can help you take a decision regarding the bone graft surgery. Feel free to contact us for more information.
WHEN WOULD YOU NEED A BONE GRAFT?
The bone graft is necessary if you’re planning to get dental implants and you don’t have high-density bone. It is also necessary if you have any congenital disabilities in the jaw, which make your jaw weak and unsuitable for the implants.
THE BONE GRAFTING SURGICAL PROCEDURE
The surgery starts with the your dental professional harvesting bone tissue from your own body. Usually, bone tissue from the iliac (in the hip area) is taken, purely because of its already very high density.
Ideally, it’s best to harvest bone tissue from the patients themselves, since it will minimize the rate of rejection and maximize the rate of tissue regeneration. It is only when the patient’s own tissues are unusable due to age or infection that bone tissue is taken from a tissue bank.
THE NEXT STEP
Once harvested, the Dr. Lopez or Dr. Vasquez will surgically place the soft bone tissue on the area of your jaw that requires fortification. Over the course of the next few months, this soft tissue starts fusing with the existing bone tissue and start ossifying, that is, turning into bone. This tissue also stimulates the production of new bone tissue in your jaw, further increasing its integrity and density.
After a few months, your jaw will be ready and fit for implants.
BONE GRAFTING IN CHILDREN
Bone grafts in children are performed predominantly to repair cleft lips and cleft palates. The ideal time to perform the alveolar bone graft is a few years after the cleft lip/palate surgery, and when the child still has his/her milk teeth.
The surgery is performed under general anesthesia, and the surgical technique will be discussed with you in advance. Dr. Arnaldo A Lopez (DDS), our head dentist, is highly-experienced in pediatric bone grafts and he will ensure your child is comfortable and safe throughout the surgery.
The alveolar bone graft surgery will repair the hole/fistula present between the nose and the mouth, which is preventing proper dental and facial development in your little one. A graft from your child’s own hip bone is taken to do the procedure, to ensure the best match. After the surgery, Dr. Lopez will recommend a few months of rest and healing and then help you decide the next course of dental treatments for your child if necessary.
WHAT RESULTS CAN BONE GRAFTING YIELD?
The bone graft surgery is a treatment that pushes your body into action, stimulating it to create more new bone tissue. As a result, the first 3-6 months can be painful, as your bone tissue ossifies and grows. Painkillers are normally prescribed, and ice packs are recommended to reduce swelling. You may even be prescribed a new diet and brushing regimen for the duration of the recovery.
TREATMENT OF DENTAL ISSUES WITH GRAFTING
The bone graft takes up to three months to recover from the surgery. But, it may take longer for your jaw to return to normal. Dr. Lopez typically waits 3-6 months before scheduling your dental implants procedure.
You will be asked to come into the clinic for an evaluation. Based on how quickly your bone graft has healed and its structural integrity, the doctor might schedule the implants or ask you to wait for a few more weeks.
To schedule a bone graft surgery at our clinic, give us a call or send us an email. Our staff are more than happy to get back to you right away!