Dental implants must be placed in hard, strong, and dense bone material. If you are lacking density and thickness, then your dentist may suggest the placement of a bone graft before the implant root is secured. Bone grafting can sound a bit scary. After all, it does involve one or several invasive procedures. To calm your nerves a bit, keep reading to learn the answers to a few common bone grafting questions.
How Large Is The Bone Graft?
Before your dentist can place a dental implant, the professional will look at x-rays to determine how thick the jaw is where the implant root must be inserted. There must be about one millimeter of bone around all edges of the implant once it is inserted. This means the length and width of the implant must be considered in relation to the bone that is available. And, if the device is secured directly near the other teeth or a current implant device, then there needs to be two to three millimeters of bone in the region.
Once your dentist figures out that there is not enough bone material to secure an implant, he will determine how much bone is needed. Usually only a few millimeters is required and this minimal bone segment can be removed from the upper crest of the hip for jaw placement. A square piece is taken and this square is fit into a similarly sized opening in the jaw. And, your dental professional will need to prepare this space.
How Long Does It Take For The Bone Graft To Heal?
Bone grafts will need to heal before you can receive your dental implant. And, the healing period can vary greatly depending on a wide variety of factors. If bone material is taken from your own body, which is usually the case, then you will heal much faster than if synthetic or cadaver bone is utilized. Faster healing is likely to occur if you are young and in good health as well
Under ideal circumstances, it can take up to three months to heal. This healing period allows the bone graft to fully integrate to your jaw. Your dentist will use X-rays and other tools to ensure that the integration process is complete before the implant root is secured. Otherwise, your jaw may crack or further disintegrate as subsequent treatments and surgeries are completed.
If you want to know more about dental implants and the process of bone grafting, speak with a dental professional with a background in surgical procedures.