What to Expect When Getting a Bone Graft
If you and your dentist are consulting on a treatment plan including one or more dental implants, your clinician will first of all carry out a comprehensive dental examination to determine whether or not a bone graft will be necessary to restore bone quality and quantity in the area of the space.
Your dentist will use the clinic’s high-tech 3D CT scanner to assess the density of your bone, and the extent of bone that will need to be replaced to ensure a successful implant procedure (as the amount of bone to be grafted is directly proportional to the number of implants needed). If a bone graft is revealed to be necessary in advance of further restoration treatment, your dentist will discuss all of your treatment options in depth during this consultation, including going through with you the decision-making process for each available graft material (synthetic, processed or natural bone).
At this stage your dentist will of course be happy to answer any questions you may have, and will be able to provide you with a full treatment plan including the estimated time until completion of not only your bone graft, but also the implant surgery and final restoration, and a detailed breakdown of all costs involved.
Bone graft procedure
The bone grafting procedure itself is generally very straightforward and painless. This involves carefully lifting the gum at the point where the bone is thin, to place the restorative graft material which will fuse with your remaining bone under the gumline. The timing of this minor surgical procedure will greatly depend on each patient’s individual case.
If your tooth extraction was a planned step of your initial treatment plan with our clinic, rather than the result of accidental loss, it is sometimes possible for patients to have their bone graft carried out on the same day as their dental extraction. However, if your situation is not suitable for these procedures to be carried out back-to-back, a separate procedure appointment will be scheduled for you.
Once your bone graft(s) is in place, except in the case of very limited grafting where your implant procedure can also be carried out during the same appointment, your graft will need to undergo a period of healing and maturation for 3 to 9 months before your implant can be placed. Your dentist will always be able to advise you of the best method and timeframe for proceeding to ensure the success of your implant while going through your treatment plan at your initial consultation.
Bone graft recovery
In most cases a bone graft conducted by an oral surgery specialist is a simple and uncomplicated procedure. Most patients will experience some mild to moderate discomfort, swelling and bruising in the days after treatment, however this is a perfectly natural part of the healing process, and your dentist will prescribe you with appropriate medication to promote your recovery, in addition to providing you with thorough guidance on beneficial aftercare of your mouth and teeth to ensure the healing period is entirely manageable.