What is bone grafting and what does it involve?

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If you and your dentist have decided that you need teeth implants, including the likes of the All on 4 dental implants that can be fitted in a single day, the first part of the process is to have some X-rays taken to ensure that your own jaws are strong enough to support the implants. Often when you lose a tooth, naturally or through injury, the jawbone around this area can start to recede or shrink. In some cases the remaining jawbone is not thick enough for the implant screws to be safely and securely installed. This doesn’t mean that you have to give up on your dream of teeth implants and a perfect smile; a safe and simple procedure called a bone graft can restore your jawbone to its former strength allowing your dentist to fit you with All on 4 dental implants.

There are actually four different types of bone grafts that are used in dental procedures. Autogenous grafts take a piece of bone from elsewhere in your body, usually the hip, to build up the jawbone in preparation for teeth implants; allografts use bone donated from another human; xenografts are more controversial, using bone from an animal, usually a cow, though the process is perfectly safe and hygienic and is ideal for supporting the screws needed for All on 4 dental implants. The final type of bone graft is still relatively uncommon and uses a man-made synthetic material to restore the jawbone to its former thickness.

graftWhichever type of bone graft you choose, the process of installing the bone or synthetic calcium phosphate is very similar. You will be given a local anaesthetic to numb the area around your jaw and you can also be sedated if you are very nervous. A small incision is made in the mouth to expose the weakened part of the jawbone and the harvested or donated bone is then grafted onto the patient’s own jaw. The procedure is very safe and completely painless at the time, though you may experience some discomfort for a few days afterwards which can be treated with painkillers. You will then have to wait for the graft to heal completely before the All on 4 dental implants can actually be fitted and in some cases this can take up to three months. However, once your jawbone is strong enough for teeth implants it is then only a matter of hours before you can have the perfect smile you’ve always dreamed of!

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