Bone grafting is a procedure in which we place artificial bone or other material which are almost similar to bone in appearance and function. There are very few medical conditions that make having dental implants inadvisable, but bone loss is something that can increase costs.
Dental implants need a good breadth and depth of bone to hold them securely. Normal biting and chewing exercises significant forces on the teeth and a good anchorage point is essential.
We lose bone from our jaws as the result of loosing teeth. Between about 30% - 60% of the bone around the socket can be lost in the first six months after extraction. Periodontal disease can contribute significantly to additional bone loss.
To avoid the need for grafting it is advisable to have the implant set at the time of extraction. If this was not done then grafting may be necessary.
We cannot tell if you need bone grafting or the extent to which it is necessary without x-rays. If you do need grafting you should not be alarmed. This is a routine and straightforward procedure that we carry out daily.
Depending on the extent of your bone loss we may need to carry out the grafting as a separate preliminary operation. If this is the case then it may be necessary to wait an additional six months for the bone to regenerate before the implants can be set.
In most cases however, we are able to combine any bone regeneration with the actual implant operation. We are often able to use synthetic materials to build back the bone. If we do need to graft actual bone, it is usually harvested from another part of the jaw.
This procedure is carried out under local anaesthesia together with oral sedation. You will therefore feel neither pain nor anxiety during the procedure itself.