Bone Grafting Or Gum Grafting For Dental Implants: An Analysis

What is bone grafting? Technically, it is a dental procedure done surgically to repair or rebuild bone through the transplantation of bone tissue. The recreated bone and supporting tissues make up for the loss of tissue in an area that’s missing a tooth.

Bone Grafting is more or less like repairing a hole in a drywall, where you fill the gap with a piece of drywall that fits the space. Likewise, bone grafting is a dental technique that attempts to repair a hole in the jaw bone that occurs due to tooth injury or decay. If bone grafting is not done to fill the hole, the mouth will collapse the unfilled space. It changes the structure of your oral cavity and increases the risk of unsuccessful implants because of the lack of a strong support structure.

Hence, it is advisable to visit your dentist at as soon as you lose a tooth. The earlier it is done, the easier and more successful the procedure is. Want to know more about gum grafting or bone grafting? Get the full list here.

How Does Your Dentist Perform Bone Grafting?

Your dentist will start by giving you local anesthesia to numb your jaw and the portion of your mouth where the procedure will be done. Then, they will fill the space in your jawbone with bone particles and cover the area with a sterile bandage called the membrane. Your dentist will ask you to wait for a few days for the graft to integrate with your oral cavity. Once the graft is completely healed and set, your dentist will start the dental implant.

Different Types Of Bone Grafting

There are various types of bone grafting depending on the extent of damage and the location of the lost tooth. The most common bone grafting practices are:

Block bone grafts

The bone graft is essentially a small piece of human bone taken from a patient’s chin or lower jaw near where they once had wisdom teeth. Blocks bone graft is used selectively in cases where a xenograft (bone from a non-human source) would not provide adequate bone thickness to rebuild the destroyed ridge. This procedure is identical to a socket graft, and the healing time is about the same.

Socket graft

In a socket graft, the bone material is inserted into the vacant socket almost immediately to conserve the alveolar ridge and prevent bone deterioration. Socket grafts use xenograft materials, and amazingly the body adjusts to this foreign material until it becomes a human bone. This grafting technique will take 3-6 months to heal completely.

Sinus Lift Grafts

Implants in the upper jaw require a more stable technique because this area of the oral cavity is not strong enough to hold dental implants. A sinus lift graft is the best option if the maxillary sinus cavity is too close to the dental implant area.

This grafting technique uses equine bone because it is microscopically similar to the human bone and doesn’t dissolve quickly. The equine bone creates a scaffold that promotes the growth of the real bone in the sinus. Once a sinus lift graft is done, it will take at least an entire year to heal completely.