Successful dental implant placement requires sufficient jawbone density. The jawbone support dental implants. When a tooth is missing, the body begins to resorb the bone from the site and use it and the minerals from it elsewhere in the body. If you have experienced jawbone shrinkage, the bone might need to be built up before you receive dental implants.
If you don’t have enough jawbone to support dental implants, bone grafting is needed. There are different sources and types of materials that can be used.
Use of your own bone (autograft) – Your chin, hip, jaw, or tibia can be a source of bone to help build up your jawbone. Extracting bone from another site requires an additional surgery. If bone is taken from your tibia, it might be completed at the dental office with the help of IV sedation. Harvesting bone from your hip requires hospitalization. Autografts are the most effective means of bone grafting because your body easily adapts to it.
Human bone from a tissue bank (allograft) – Reputable tissue banks supply human cadaver bone. It doesn’t require an additional surgery so it’s less expensive than an autograft. Although the bone is carefully screened, there are risks, because an infection can be transferred into your body, as with a blood transfusion.
Animal bone (xenograft) – Animal bone—most often from a cow—is sterilized and processed to minimize the risk of infection. Your body absorbs the bone over time and replaces it with your own bone.
Mineral bone substitute (alloplast) – Synthetic bone is used for grafting. Next to using your own bone, it is the safest means of grafting. Your body will eventually absorb the bone and replace it with your own bone tissue.
Recombinant gene technology-derived protein – Proteins naturally found in the body are used to synthetically manufacture bone. The protein is FDA approved as an alternative to an autograft.
The healing period can take four to nine months, depending on the type of graft used, how your body reacts to it, and how your body heals.
Your implant dentist will let you know your options for bone grafting, as well as the outcome you can expect.
This post is sponsored by the dentists of Hillsdale Dental Care of San Jose.