If you are missing a tooth, a dental implant may be your best bet. It looks and functions just like a real tooth, and you don’t have to worry about cracking the two extra crowns of a dental bridge. However, some jawbones are too thin or soft to support a dental implant and need to be reinforced with a bone graft. If your dentist has recommended a bone graft and you want to know more, here are a few frequently asked questions and answers.
What is a bone graft?
A bone graft is a kind of surgery in which a portion of bone material is implanted into another portion of bone in order to thicken it or increase its density. When periodontists, dentists or oral surgeons refer to bone grafts, they are almost always speaking about your jawbone.
Where does the bone come from?
Many oral surgical offices use cow bone as grafting material, and while this can be safe, here at Montgomery County Periodontal Associates in Conroe, Texas, we find that using portions of your own jawbone is the quickest and most effective healing. We can also use artificial bone material or bone fragments from a tissue bank if needed.
How long can I wait before my dental implant?
If the bone graft is minor, there is a possibility that you will be able to get the dental implant at the same time, if not shortly after your bone graft. For more substantial grafts, the new bone will need time fully unite with your original jaw so it can fully support the implant, which can take up to several months. Dr. Miles Mason can give you a more customized estimate.
Have more questions? Call us at (936) 756-1669 to schedule an appointment.