As we age, our bones naturally lose density. Sometimes, thanks to missing teeth, medications or disease, that process speeds up. If your jaw cannot support a dental implant in its current state, you may require a bone graft.
Bone grafts have an extremely high success rate. While they may take several months to heal, they’re the most beneficial way to build up bone integrity. Here’s what you need to know about the bone grafting process, before you schedule a consultation with Dr. Mike.
How are bone grafts placed?
Bone grafts can be sourced from your own bone, other human bone, synthetic bone or animal bone, depending on Dr. Mike’s recommendation. The process often requires a local anesthetic, although some patients may still request sedation, which is perfectly fine.
Bone grafts are placed by making a small incision in the gum tissue, then placing the bone. An additional membrane may be used to support and protect the graft as it heals. The incision is then closed.
How long do bone grafts take to heal?
Healing time will vary from patient to patient. A patient’s overall health, diet, exercise routine, medications and other factors can influence the healing process and thus how long it takes before an implant can be placed.
Patients usually feel back to normal within a week or two, although the bone graft itself needs much longer to integrate with your jaw. Typically, the healing process takes anywhere from three to nine months.
Dr. Mike is not able to anchor the implants until the bone graft(s) is completely healed. While this does delay the implant process, Dr. Mike can recommend appropriate temporary solutions. Dentures or partial dentures may be suitable to ‘bridge’ the gap until your implants can be placed.
Oral healthcare after a bone graft
After your bone graft procedure, Dr. Mike may prescribe antibiotics to ward off infection. You should follow your regular dental care routine—brushing, flossing and rinsing with mouthwash—unless otherwise directed.
Take the antibiotics exactly as prescribed, and don’t miss your follow-up appointments. Dr. Mike will monitor the healing process to ensure no complications occur. Since there is such a high success rate, patients who follow post-graft instructions can expect a relatively pain-free, easy healing period. In fact, you should be able to resume daily activities, such as work or school, within a day or two.
Do I need a bone graft?
Your Fioritto general dentist may suggest an implant and bone graft, but to be sure, schedule a visit with Dr. Mike at the Cleveland Implant Institute.
When you schedule a consultation with us, Dr. Mike will perform an examination and discuss your implant options; and whether or not a bone graft is required. If you suffer from severe bone loss, another type of implant may be recommended.
Call Dr. Mike at the Cleveland Implant Institute today. We look forward to restoring your healthy, happy smile!