Dental bone grafting is the preferred treatment for some causes of poor tooth and gum health. A bone graft may also be required in preparation for All on 4 Dental Implants. If you’ve already had a dental bone graft recommended to you by your dentist or you’re wondering if the procedure can help with oral health and hygiene, no doubt you have questions. How does bone grafting work? What is recovery like? And, of course, how much does a dental bone graft cost? We have you covered with those answers and more.
What is a Dental Bone Graft?
A dental bone graft is a surgical procedure during which the existing structure of the jawbone is added to. The procedure is necessary in preparation for further dental work such as implants. Bone from the patient’s body can be utilised, although modern techniques also take advantage of excellent synthetic materials. Using synthetic bone makes the procedure less invasive, significantly reducing post-operative discomfort and simplifying recovery.
How is Dental Bone Grafting Surgery Performed?
Dental bone grafting isn’t as scary as it might sound. Modern techniques ensure a relatively minor procedure. Patient comfort is still a priority, and anesthesia is the first step.
After a thorough cleaning of the surrounding area, your surgeon will make an incision in the overlying gum. This process separates the gums from the area of bone that requires work and provides good access for the graft. The severity of the bone loss and location of the graft will determine what your graft is made of and where it comes from. Sometimes bone is harvested from the very back of your own jaw. This will mean a small second incision at the harvest site. Donor bone can also be used, and modern synthetic bone is often an option.
The graft is applied to the area of lost bone with a temporary adhesive. Bone is a living tissue and is constantly refurbishing itself, a process called remodelling. As the adhesive dissolves over time, the graft and surrounding healthy bone will knit together, forming a strong new section of the jawbone. Any incisions are then closed using sutures. In modern dental surgery, these are usually dissolvable and will fall out themselves once your wound is healed.
Is the Procedure Painful?
Understandably, the primary cause of anxiety in patients undergoing dental procedures is concern about pain. If this is something that is preventing you from considering a dental bone graft, we have some good news for you.
The first thing you should know is that the procedure is performed under general anaesthesia, and you will be heavily sedated for the entirety of the surgery. This, of course means you won’t feel any pain or anxiety during surgery. Some discomfort is expected as you recover. This is usually manageable with over the counter pain relief medication. Your surgeon may also provide prescription pain relief if needed.
Who is a Good Candidate for a Dental Bone Graft?
If you’re considering implants for missing teeth, including an All on 4 treatment, chances are you’re a candidate for dental bone grafting first. In fact, studies show that about half of all dental implant sites require grafting. Bone grafting provides a strong foundation for your implants to be anchored to. This allows for your implants to be firmly fixed in your jaw and reduces the risk of complications following individual or All on 4 implants.
Bone loss can lead to poor oral health even if you’re not receiving implants. If you’ve suffered from rotting teeth or gum disease in the past, this may have affected the bone density of the underlying jaw. Replacing this bone with a dental bone graft helps support the jaw and protect the health of surrounding teeth and gums.
Bone loss from aging and related conditions such as osteoporosis can also have undesirable cosmetic effects. Loss of density in the lower jaw may cause your face to appear short. Your jaw may begin to protrude slightly. Underlying solid bone structure is also necessary for healthy-looking lips and gums. Dental bone grafting is also a treatment for lost jaw structure following traumatic injury. The takeaway message is that if you’re suffering from a loss of jawbone density or related oral health and cosmetic issues, dental bone grafting may be for you.
Learn more about the cost of All on 4.
How Can I Manage My Recovery?
As with all dental surgery, minor discomfort should be expected immediately after your procedure. In particular, some swelling and bleeding around the operative area are quite common. The good news is these are easy to manage. Your surgeon will discuss pain relief with you and provide a prescription if necessary. You will be sent home with the incision site already dressed. Dressings should be changed regularly, but this is as simple as packing fresh gauze between your gums. The following simple steps will also help you minimise discomfort and contribute to a quick recovery.
- Applying ice or other cold packs to your face near the surgical site can help reduce swelling and post-operative pain. This is most useful in the first few days after the procedure.
- Eating soft or liquid foods and avoiding hard or crunchy food or very hot food and beverages assist in quick healing of the incision.
- Avoiding strenuous activity or risking impacts to the head or face helps protect the wound.
- Sleeping with your head slightly more elevated than usual prevents excessive bleeding during the night.
Within a week, most pain will reside, and after two to three weeks, you will likely be back to your regular diet and routine.
How Much Does Dental Bone Grafting Cost?
Cost varies depending on the number and size of grafts required. Dental bone grafting is an outpatient hospital procedure that requires general anaesthesia, so you should also expect costs associated with those services. If you’re receiving them, the need for grafts will be included with the estimated cost of your implants or All on 4.
There you have it. Hopefully, you’re now comfortable that dental bone grafting is a modern, safe and stress-free procedure. If you think you may be a candidate, or have any further questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at Kew Dentistry.