Many people with missing teeth prefer dental implants as a teeth replacement solution. However, not everyone willing to undertake the procedure does because of inadequate jawbone density. Fortunately, with bone augmentation, it is possible to build up the jawbone and receive an implant. At Encino Dental Implant, we provide various bone grafting procedures for dental implants.

Overview of Bone Grafting

Bone grafting, also known as bone augmentation, is a process where a weak jawbone is built up to support dental implants or other techniques of replacing missing teeth. The treatment is common among patients receiving dental implants. Keep in mind that the integrity of the bone is crucial when it comes to supporting the natural tooth root or dental implants.

Low jawbone mass could result in missing teeth or exposed gums. If you are among people who have weak areas in their jawbones, undergoing bone grafting could be life-changing. The procedure enables new growth of the jawbone, strengthening the weak areas, thus preventing issues like missing teeth or exposed gums. Oral surgeons or dentists use synthetic materials or remove some of your natural bone to stimulate growth in the weak or low-density areas.

The leading cause of low jawbone mass is tooth loss due to gum disease or other oral health conditions. Maintaining oral health and replacing missing teeth can prevent the weakening of the jawbone. But if you already have weak jaws, when a synthetic or natural bone is attached and fuses with the jawbone, you can recover the functionality and structure of your natural teeth.

Reasons for Needing Bone Grafting

There are multiple reasons why people opt for bone grafting. Some do it for functional and others for cosmetic purposes. Below are common reasons for the procedure:

  1. Missing Teeth

People lose teeth all the time due to accidents or tooth extraction. Whatever your reason for having a missing tooth, it’s wise to replace it immediately. The reason being if the socket is left open for a long time, the jaw bone begins to deteriorate slowly, leaving you with a weak jaw bone that cannot support a dental implant. Receiving a bone transplant can help stimulate the new growth of the jawbone in areas with no teeth giving you to use dental implants for replacing the missing teeth.

  1. Gum Disease

The illness is also known as periodontal disease, and it affects your gums. If the condition goes unattended for a long time, you will begin losing teeth and eventually get weak jawbones. Luckily, gum disease is reversible or treatable, after which you can receive a bone transplant to stimulate and fuse with the natural jawbone, thus strengthening it for dental implants. Note that if you have loose teeth that you are almost losing, instead of thinking of a dental implant as your first option, you should consider bone grafting so that the tooth root anchors firmly on the jawbone.

  1. Teeth Misalignment

If you stay with misaligned teeth for a long time, the condition gets out of hand, resulting in loss of jawbone mass. Misalignment might be as a result of over-erupting or teeth erupting in the wrong angle. When these things happen, they decrease the stimulation of the jawbone that supports your teeth, thus causing low jaw bone mass. You can opt for different procedures to align the teeth, but still, you will need bone grafting to strengthen the jawbone to anchor the newly aligned teeth.

  1. Anchoring Dental Implants

The main reason you will contact Encino Dental Implant is if you need bone grafting to support the implant. All the explanations for undergoing bone grafting mentioned above result in a dental implant. But, with a weak jawbone, dental implants are useless because they won’t have adequate support to function and look like regular teeth. Bone grafting will add bone to the jaw enabling it to increase its mass, thus providing proper anchorage for the dental implant.

Other reasons you might need the treatment include:

  • Previous surgical procedures
  • The trauma suffered from a direct injury on the mouth
  • Tooth decay leading to bone infection
  • Complex or multiple jawbone fractures

When you receive bone grafting to address the above reasons, your natural bone will continue with healthy growth fusing with the transplanted bone, thus becoming more robust.

The Bone Grafting Procedure

The procedure begins with a consultation with your oral surgeon. Talk to your dental expert and open up about your oral condition. If you are an eligible candidate, the procedure begins with the dentist checking the number of dental implants required.

The next step involves getting a bone from any location in your body. The dental professional can remove a bone from your chin or the posterior of your lower jaw. These locations are the most convenient if you are strengthening the jaw bone for one implant. But if you will need more bone to anchor multiple dental implants, your hip or shin will be used to donate the bone. Oral surgeons pick these areas because they provide sufficient bone marrow, which increases the chances of healing.

The majority of dentists will suggest human bone marrow instead of the one from cows. If they can’t find human or animal bone, they will rely on the synthetic bones, which also gets the work done.

Bone grafting is less invasive, and the duration the procedure takes depends on the nature of your case. If you need a single implant, as mentioned earlier, it can be donated from the chin and the process completed in the dental office. But if you need multiple dental implants, more mass of bone is required, and this might force you to have the procedure performed in the hospital.

The actual procedure involves numbing the area donating the bone, and the one receiving it. First, the dental professional will operate the area that needs the transplant and decide on the bone mass required. If you only need a single implant, the experts will open your gums to view the chin and extract the bone they need. The bone will then be attached to the weak area of the jawbone. The hole left after the bone is obtained is filled, and later the bone is joined to the part requiring the transplant using screws.

After the procedure, you will wait for the natural bone to grow and fuse with the transplanted bone until the bone dissolves entirely.

Types of Dental Bone Grafts

Every dental patient is unique. It means that even the bone to be grafted will vary with the patient. Luckily, there are several types of bone grafts, depending on the weakness and structure of your jawbone. These are:

Autogenous Graft 

Dental professionals use an autograft, which is a bone that is extracted from your body. The common areas where dentists get autografts include the ribs, pelvis, hip, or the jaw. The advantage of a dentist using your bone for grafting is that your body is less likely to reject a bone donated by itself. The challenge of this type of graft is that you will need two separate procedures. One will be for extracting the bone and the other for transplanting it. Processes that use these types of bone graft take long because the two operations must be conducted at intervals. After acquiring the bone, the location that donated the bone must heal first before the bone is transplanted.

Xenogenic Bone Graft

If an autograft is not an option, your dentist can opt for bones from animal cadavers or cows. Cow bones are the most commonly used in these cases because they provide a similar composition framework for bone growth, just like the bones from animal corpses.

Synthetic Bone

These bones are made from naturally occurring substances and hydroxyapatite. The material used must be biocompatible to ensure that your body reabsorbs the substances once the natural bone begins to regenerate. The type of graft is common where natural bone from humans or donors is not available. Synthetic bones can be made of ceramic, collagen, or other composite materials used in making replacements.

Sinus Lifts and Grafts

If you experience bone loss near the area of sinuses, you will need a sinus lift. The sinus lifts apples where the location of sinus provides limited space that makes it impossible to place dental implants. During the process of a sinus lift, the sinus membrane is surgically lifted from the jawbone, making room for putting the grafting materials. After placing the graft substance, the dental implant procedure can then follow. Grafting and healing under this type of graft take up to nine months.

Ridge Expansion and Grafts

Not every patient with a weak jawbone is due to periodontal disease or injuries. Some are born with narrow jaws that make it challenging to fit a dental implant. In such cases, dentists expand the width or height of the upper ridge creating enough space for the dental implant in a process called ridge expansion. The jaw is split into two along the top layer of your mouth.  Grafting material is then placed where the jawbone is weak and allowed to fuse to allow for the placing of the dental implant. The implant might be placed immediately after the bone graft, or you may have to wait for bone grafting to heal.

Post-Operative Instructions

For bone grafting to succeed, you must follow the instruction given to you after the operation. You will be provided with an antibacterial mouthwash and other prescription medications to keep the transplant area clean and free of infections. If you properly care for the teeth, it will take between 6 to 9 months to recover.

Health Benefits of Bone Grafting

If you are wondering why bone grafting is an essential procedure, the answer is that it enables restoration of jawbone density preventing dental problems. Where a person has experienced a high loss of jawbone density, the facial structure and bones begin to change, affecting your appearance. Bone grafting helps restore the average mass of the jawbone, giving you the original facial structure, which in turn boosts your self-esteem. On top of restoring your self-esteem, the procedure provides the stability of the dental implant, just like the natural teeth.

Success Rate of Bone Grafting

When you undertake the procedure for dental implants, it is highly successful. However, in some circumstances, the process isn’t going to work. The way an organ transplant procedure might fail, even bone grafting can fail despite using human bone. Patients with significant health conditions or smokers have high chances of failure.

It is for this reason that before you decide to undergo bone grafting, you should speak to your dentist and share about the pre-existing health condition. People with smoking habits should also open up about it. After a thorough assessment of the situation, your dentist can determine whether to proceed with the treatment or not. Keep in mind that even after the first grafting procedure fails, the transplanted bone can be removed and a second graft placed.

Possible Bone Grafting Complications and Risks

The revolution in the medical industry has improved a lot of dental procedures. The new techniques and equipment significantly reduced the risks of dental bone grafting. After the process, you will experience post-operative side effects like bleeding and discomfort from the anesthesia reaction. Some of the side effects include:

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Absorption of implanted materials
  • Nerve damage
  • Inflammation
  • Rejection of grafting materials by the body

The side effects are, however, easily controllable.

It is not every time the graft material is absorbed or integrates with your jawbone. Fortunately, your oral surgeon can intervene with alternative surgical procedures to remove the rejected graft material to prepare the area for another bone graft.

Mitigating Bone Grafting Complications

Although the procedure has its risks and complications, these should not discourage you from getting your implants. You could opt for the following things to reduce the risks and complications. These are:

  1. Medicine

Bone grafting involves surgical procedures, which means the patient is likely to experience slight pressure or discomfort during and after the procedure. Pain is avoidable if you ensure local anesthesia is administered before surgery. After the process, the oral surgeon will prescribe anti-inflammatory medications that help relieve the pain and discomfort. Prescription or over the counter drugs can also aid in the recovery of wounds.

  1. Chilling 

One of the complications of bone grafting is that it causes swelling. Apart from using medication to reduce the swelling, chilling can help lower the pain, bleeding, and swelling.

  1. Diet

After grafting, the transplanted bone must fuse and be absorbed by the natural jaw bone. During the first few weeks after the operation, you should stick to a bespoke diet. Some of the post-operative details your dentist might share include staying away from crunchy foods, coffee, tea, or alcohol. Smoking is also forbidden if you have bone problems. Stick to soft foods or drinks. When it comes to drinks, the best are the cold ones, while for meals, take those that require little.

  1. Sleeping

The way you sleep after surgery will determine if complications will arise or not. Put a pillow under your head and lay on the back to prevent further bleeding. If sleeping on the back causes you problems, you should sleep on the opposite side of the transplanted area.

Other ways of reducing the risks of the treatment are by ensuring proper oral hygiene, avoiding heavy exercise in the first few weeks, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle with low-stress levels.

Cost of Bone Grafting for a Dental Implant

The cost of a bone graft ranges between $100 to $1,500 for a single implant. If the procedure is to be conducted using your bone, it means an anesthesiologist and orthopedic surgeon will be required, which increases the cost. Hospitalization further increases the price of treatment, where there is the use of autograft bone. Various factors determine the value of bone grafting for implants are:

Type of Graft Material

Cost should not always be the primary consideration when choosing graft materials. However, where there are varieties of graft materials to choose from, it’s essential to consider the cost. Any other bone that is not from the human body will cost between $200 to $1,200 for every implant. And where bone grafting is using autograft bones, the cost of a single implant ranges from 2,000 to 3,000 dollars. The reason for the high price being two surgical procedures are required one for extracting the bone and the other for transplanting.

The Extent of the Graft Process

If the grafting procedure is long and complicated, the cost increases. These cases are common where an oral surgeon is using your bone for grafting, and a second surgery is required. When there are multiple weak areas on your jawbone requiring grafting, you will pay more money because having to conduct numerous bone transplants on the jawbone extends the process. The cost will also increase if your grafting requires rare materials.

Your Choice of the Dental Professional 

Multiple procedures and materials for bone grafting are available. Various prosthodontists charge different prices for these procedures. So, it is advisable to research the type of grafting procedure you want and the type of grafting materials you prefer. Visit differential dental professionals and inquire about their prices for the bone grafting you want. You can also get online quotations and compare the prices. By examining costs, you can eliminate the over-priced and low-priced procedures.

Keep in mind that although low prices can be tempting, steer clear of them since you might be risking your overall dental health. Prosthodontists who charge the lowest prices in the market might be inexperienced or lack state of the art equipment, which lowers the success rate of the treatment. However, this should not mean that those who charge the highest prices are the best. You have to consider other things when choosing a dental provider based on price. The dental provider you pick will determine the amount of money you will pay.

Availability of Dental Insurance

The cost of treatment will also depend much on whether your insurer will cover part of the price or the full amount. Whether the insurance company will cover the cost of bone grafting for dental implants will depend on the reason for having the graft. Your dental insurance provider will reimburse you for the costs if you are doing the procedure after an accident injuring your mouth or oral problem that has damaged your teeth. But if you are doing it for esthetics, the cost will not be covered, and you will have to pay out of your pocket. With this in mind, the amount of money you pay for treatment will determine the percentage of the cost your insurer will cover.

Additional Bone Graft Costs

Bone grafting involves other procedures like evaluation and diagnosis. They require diagnostics and assessment of the process, which include taking x-rays and CT scans. The price of CT scans ranges between $250 to $1,000, while an x-ray will cost between $60 to $250 depending on the area that requires imaging.

Questions to Ask When Choosing a Prosthodontist for Bone Grafting

When picking a dental professional for a bone graft for dental implants, you should understand that your overall oral health and smile depends on the procedure. Your choice of a prosthodontist must, therefore, be thought through carefully.

One of the things to consider is the credentials of the provider. Check the education and training background of the dental professional. You could also arrange a meeting with the dental providers you are considering for a consultation. Remember that you will be meeting multiple oral health practitioners before picking the right one. For this reason, you should stay away from dentists who charge for the initial consultation and choose the ones who provide zero-obligation consultation.

Once you find the right dentist, you should discuss your dental condition then have the dentist suggest what bone grafting procedure that is right for you. You should then get a detailed quotation of the treatment, including everything you will require for a successful bone graft for dental implants.

Find a Prosthodontist or Implantologist Near Me

If you are ready to regain the functionality of your teeth and a flawless smile with bone grafting for dental implants, you should schedule a meeting with Encino Dental Implant. Our dental practitioners can be reached at 818-810-7535 for more information.