Bone Grafting For Dental Implants
How Do Bone Grafts Work?
There are several types of bone graft, and the type we use depends on the extent of the damage you’re suffering from as well as the location of the lost tooth.
The most common type of bone graft is called a socket graft. A socket graft’s primary purpose is to prevent the atrophy of the alveolar bone before it can occur. We usually place bone from a human donor right into the socket. This also prevents the collapse of the socket. After a socket graft, you’ll typically be ready for your implant in 4-6 months. As a bonus, having one of these grafts will minimize post-operative pain from the implant surgery.
The next type of bone graft is called a lateral ridge preservation graft. These grafts are used to increase the width of the jawbone in order to accommodate a dental implant. Again, we typically use human donor bones for this.
The block bone graft is another type of graft that we use. The block bone graft is necessary when there are large defects in the jawbone. To perform the block bone graft, we harvest a small block of bone from the back of the jaw.
We place the block into the defect, then hold it in place with small titanium screws.
Both the lateral ridge preservation graft and the block bone procedure typically take 4 to 6 months to heal.
Finally, we have the sinus lift procedure. We generally use equine bone for these so that we may expand the graft. The equine bone may be added to a human donor’s bone. This procedure is necessary when the patient needs an implant in the upper jaw, which is not typically stable enough to hold the implants on their own.
So, why equine bone? Because equine bone actually provides us with two unique advantages. It doesn’t dissolve as quickly as human bone does and microscopically is more similar to human bone. This equine bone creates a kind of “scaffold” that supports the additional growth of bone in the sinus.
Due to the anatomy of the sinus cavity healing typically takes 8-12 months.
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