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25 June 2018

Dental Implants Didsbury – Will I Need A Bone Graft?

If you’re considering dental implants in Didsbury then you’re already on the way to restoring your smile. Because dental implants are placed into the jawbone during a surgical procedure one of the questions we’re often asked is “Will I need a bone graft before the procedure?” We can’t say for sure until you’ve visited our Didsbury dentist where you’ll be given an examination and have some X-rays taken so that a decision can be made based on your dental health.

We encourage anyone considering dental implants in Manchester to call us on 0161 486 0743 to schedule an appointment. Meanwhile, we’ve detailed below some answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about the bone graft procedure, so continue reading to find out more.

What is a bone graft?

Bone augmentation, as the bone graft procedure is medically called, can be carried out in a number of different ways. The main aim however is to build-up or augment bone that has been lost through bone resorption. Once grafting is complete, it creates a sufficient platform of bone so that any dental implant can be securely anchored into.

Why is bone lost from the jawbone in the first place?

The main reason for the jawbone losing its density is resorption. Did you know for instance that when a person loses a tooth, they can also lose up to 25% of their bone density in that particular area within a year?

Furthermore, any resorption gradually continues, albeit at a slower pace, as time passes. So why does it occur?

The reason this happens is that the jawbone is stimulated by the teeth and roots which sends a signal to the brain that the jawbone is carrying out its specific role. When a tooth is lost the jawbone receives very little, if any, stimulation in that particular area. As a result, the brain thinks that the bone isn’t necessary for the area and begins to leach the calcium from the jaw to use somewhere else. If you’re aware that you’re going to lose a tooth, then don’t hesitate to make an appointment with your Didsbury dentist as we can perform certain procedures to limit or even prevent resorption from taking place.

Other reasons for the bone loss in the jaw are severe gum disease, decay, injury, infections or developmental defect. Regular 6 monthly visits to your dental practice in Manchester can help reduce these risks.

When is bone grafting for dental implants in Manchester necessary?

If your jawbone has lost density then it’s likely that your bone won’t be deep enough to place a dental implant. When replacing missing teeth with dental implants, Didsbury surgeons will insert a titanium implant beneath your gums and secure it to your jawbone. In order to support the implant post, the bone needs to be both dense and healthy. In order to support the implant post, the bone needs to be thick and healthy.

It’s a bit like constructing a piece of furniture. If the wood that you’re screwing into isn’t deep enough, then the screw won’t go in all the way. The bone grafting procedure helps thicken the bone so that it’s a perfect fit for the titanium post.

Where does the bone come from for the graft?

Sometimes the bone is used from the patient themselves. It can be taken from the back of the mouth or from the chin leaving the cells intact, and this is then grafted onto the jawbone at the implant site. Other times, a processed bone may be used. With advances in dental technology, there are even cases where the bone isn’t used at all but instead, cells are transformed into bone. This is relatively new technology, however, and may not be suitable for everyone.

What will happen before the procedure?

Your Didsbury dentist will need to take pictures of your bone so that he and the surgeon can plan the best way to augment it. This is typically done using a CT scanner. In addition, a decision will have to be made as to whether your own bone or processed bone is to be used. Don’t worry, your dental implants Didsbury dentist will talk through your options to help with your decision.

What happens during the dental bone graft procedure?

In some cases, a patient may be put to sleep for the procedure or anaesthetised, but whatever happens, the gums and any area that bone is being taken from will be numbed with anaesthetic. Next, the surgeon makes a small incision into the gum, lifting up a flap of tissue to reveal the bone beneath. This enables him to determine how much bone he needs to place at the site. If a bone is being removed from elsewhere in your mouth, then a second incision is made at this time so that the bone can be extracted. The surgeon will place grafting material to replace the bone that has been extracted and the site will be stitched back up. Next, the new bone is attached securely to the jawbone and other bone grafting material may also be placed around the block of bone. Some surgeons also like to cover the area with a membrane material, before closing the area with stitches.

What about recovery? How long is the bone graft healing time?

Immediately after the bone grafting procedure, you’re going to feel sore. Your dental implants dentist in Manchester will usually recommend taking ibuprofen and using ice packs for 15 minutes a time to combat any discomfort. To prevent the risk of infection occurring, you’ll also be given a course of antibiotics and be advised to use an antibacterial mouthwash. It’s vital that you’re careful about what you eat and keep pressure off the area for several weeks. We’d recommend you stick to soft foods for the first couple of weeks that require little chewing.

Healing time varies from one patient to another but typically it takes between 3-4 months to complete. During this time, you will be able to function normally, but you will be waiting for the new bone to grow around the grafting material. This is a slow process but it’s well worth the wait. Once your bone has healed, you’ll be able to move ahead with dental implants in Didsbury and then, your implants should be more secure as a result.

The easiest way to find out if you need a bone graft before receiving dental implants in Manchester is to schedule a consultation with Church Road Dental and Cosmetics Shi Karim and the team looks forward to helping you restore your smile.

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