Before you have dental implants surgically inserted, your dentist will do an exam to ensure that your mouth can support them. Most people are suitable for dental implants, but some don’t have enough healthy bone to support them. And this problem must be addressed first, typically with a dental bone graft procedure, before the dental implants can be put in. What Causes a Lack of Healthy Bone? There can be a number of reasons why you lack the bone you need for dental implants. The following is a list of the most common causes: Gum disease Tooth development defects Long term denture use A past injury or trauma to the face The removal of teeth when the dentist left the spaces empty afterwards. Dental procedures where efforts were not made to restore the bone What is Bone Augmentation? A dental bone graft is a surgical procedure performed to augment or replace bone in the jaw that has been lost or is insufficient for various reasons. The jawbone may lose density due to tooth loss, trauma, periodontal (gum) disease, or congenital conditions. A bone graft helps create a more solid foundation for dental procedures such as implant placement or to support the surrounding teeth. What to Expect from a Bone Graft for Dental Implants A tooth bone graft is a safe and highly successful procedure. Your dentist will remove a small amount of bone from another location and attach it to the jaw. This is done in the dentist’s office using anaesthetic, and as it heals the new sections of bone bond to the old to make it stronger and better able to support an implant. After the bone grafting is complete your mouth must heal completely before any further procedures are performed, which can take anywhere from a few weeks to 2-3 months. Dental bone grafts are commonly performed to enhance the success of dental implant procedures. Implants need a solid foundation to integrate properly with the jawbone. Additionally, bone grafts may be done for aesthetic reasons, such as restoring lost bone in areas where the jawbone has atrophied due to missing teeth. It’s important to note that the success of a bone graft depends on various factors, including the patient’s overall health, the type of graft material used, and adherence to postoperative care instructions. Patients considering a dental bone graft should consult with their dentist or oral surgeon to discuss the specific details of their case. Types of Bone Grafting Procedures There are several other common bone augmentation procedures your dentist may use. These include the following: The sinus lift, which is a procedure that increases the amount of bone in the upper jaw and below the sinus so implants can be placed. Ridge expansion, which is a bone augmentation procedure that widens the jaw so implants can fit properly. An alveolar ridge preservation, a procedure that reduces bone loss after an extraction. Distraction osteogenesis, which makes a short bone into a longer one by breaking the bone apart and encouraging new bone to grow in the empty space. Bone Grafting Procedure Evaluation: Before recommending a bone graft, the dentist or oral surgeon assesses the patient’s oral health and the condition of the jawbone using X-rays or 3D imaging. This evaluation helps determine the extent of bone loss and the need for a graft. Bone Graft Materials: There are various sources for bone graft materials, including: Autografts: Bone taken from the patient’s own body, often from the hip or jaw. Allografts: Donor bone from another individual. Xenografts: Bone from animals, usually bovine (cow) sources. Synthetic materials: Laboratory-made materials that mimic the properties of natural bone. Procedure: The bone graft procedure involves making an incision in the gum tissue to access the deficient area of the jawbone. The graft material is then placed into the targeted site. Depending on the type of graft, it may serve as a scaffold for the patient’s natural bone to grow into over time (osteoconductive) or stimulate the formation of new bone cells (osteoinductive). Healing and Integration: After the bone graft is placed, the patient is given time to heal. The body gradually incorporates the graft material, and new bone tissue begins to form. This process, called osseointegration, is crucial for creating a stable and supportive environment for dental implants or other restorative treatments. Follow-up: Regular follow-up appointments are scheduled to monitor the healing process and assess when the jawbone is ready for the next phase of treatment, such as dental implant placement. Dental Bone Graft Cost It’s impossible to estimate how much your dental bone graft procedure will cost. It depends on the condition of your mouth and on the amount of bone you need implanted. Your dentist will work with you to find an option that both improves the condition of your mouth and bone, and suits your bank account at the same time. If you need a bone graft for tooth implant purposes, contact our general dental clinic in Sydney and find out how we can help.