Bone grafts are quite commonly used in dentistry. Usually bone grafts for dental implants are used when the jaw bone is weak or the bone has suffered due to infection and erosion. Bone grafts are used to build up the jaw bone so that dental implants can be put into the bone, and then artificial tooth or teeth can be attached to the dental implants.
There are many different types of bone grafting procedures that dentists use. The bone graft can be taken from the patient's own body, from a donor, from another species or a synthetic material is used. In order to do the grafting procedure, an incision has to be made in the gum. Then the surrounding tissue and bone in the incision site is removed and the graft is placed. Thereafter, the graft is covered with a collagen membrane to protect it from invasion from harmful bacteria. The incision is sutured and then the wait begins.
Usually the bone graft for dental implants takes a minimum of 4 months to heal. However, the time taken to heal can vary from person to person. Immediately after the procedure, the patient is prescribed antibiotics and painkillers. The antibiotics help to ensure that no infection sets in the grafted area, while the painkillers help the patient to cope with the post-operative pain that sets in once the anesthesia wears off.
The patient would have to go for regular check up and X-rays to ensure that the bone graft is healing well, the bones are fusing and new bone is growing. Until the dentist is satisfied with the amount of bone regrown, dental implants are not put into place. Once the complete bone grafted region is healed, then a separate procedure is undertaken to put in the dental implants.
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