Bone grafting is a very important step in the treatment plan when recommended by your dentist. Quite often, people do not have enough healthy bone to support dental implants. This is because the bone surrounding a tooth begins to “resorb” or melt away when that tooth is extracted. Grafting the area is simply trying to prevent this loss of bone or restore it if it has already occurred.
How does the process work?
Most oral bone grafting is a minor surgical procedure. Once a patient is comfortably numb, an incision is made in the gums to access the bone underneath. The graft material is added to the exposed bone in one of several ways. The graft is typically bone mineral that has been processed, and it will stimulate the body to generate new bone cells around it.
Where Does the Graft Material Come From?
The bone graft material can come from your own body and your own bone. However, most of the time the grafting material is made of laboratory-treated material from an animal or human. Don’t worry, though. The grafting material is sterile and very safe for use.
After a bone graft has had time to heal and strengthen, the area will be evaluated to determine if it is ready to support a dental implant.
What is the recovery like?
Again, it is typically a minimally invasive procedure. Most patients can resume all activities by the next day and continue throughout the months between dental appointments.