Bone Grafting


Bone Grafting at Didsbury Dental Practice, Manchester

Most dental bone grafting procedures are done to restore your bone to its previous form following tooth loss, gum disease or trauma. Bone grafting may also be used to maintain bone structure after tooth extraction.

The actual bone grafting procedure is much more straightforward than you might think. Bone grafting will only take place after we have assessed the quality and quantity of the bone in your jaw and found that there is not enough to continue with a dental implant. Following the initial assessment, we will discuss the different types of dental bone grafts with you and decide which will be the most suitable.

Once this has been decided the dental bone graft can be performed. For this, the dentist will surgically expose a flap of gum at the site of the bone graft and place the bone to be grafted onto the site and cover it with a protective membrane. This membrane is used to protect the bone from any microbiota (germs) found in the mouth and ensure that the area is perfectly clean to encourage the healing process. Finally the flap of gum is replaced and stitched carefully back into place.

Healing time for a bone graft can vary from patient to patient, but on average it is around 4 months. Patients are also given a course of antibiotics to take in the days following their bone graft. Antibiotic mouthwashes are also prescribed to preserve the health of the gum covering the bone graft.

Once this has been confirmed as satisfactory, and the site of the bone graft is totally healed, the next stage of the dental implant procedure can begin.


Bone grafting for dental implants


In order for a dental implant to be successful the patient must have sufficient bone in the jaw to place the implant into. Usually the quality and quantity of bone in the jaw is reflective of how the bone healed after the tooth was removed, and not an underlying medical condition.

It was once assumed that if a patient did not have enough bone in their jaw they would not be suitable for dental implants. However, today thanks to the major advances in dental techniques and technology, patients with insufficient bone in the jaw can have the bone rebuilt using bone grafting.


What types of dental bone grafts are available?


Autografts – this is one of the most successful bone grafting techniques. Bone is taken (harvested) from the body of the patient (usually from the hip or the mouth) and this is then grafted onto your jaw bone.

Xenografts – these use bone that is harvested from animals, usually cows. This bone is processed to make it sterile and totally biocompatible. Animal bone behaves like filler and eventually a patient’s body will replace this with natural bone.

Allografts – these grafts are taken from human bone donors in the same way that organs are taken from donors in the event of their death. The bone which is harvested in this way will be put through various tests and sterilisation techniques to ensure that it is safe to be used as a graft. After the donor bone is placed in the jaw bone it will eventually be converted into natural bone and the jaw bone will be rebuilt.

Alloplastic grafts – these grafts are man-made from synthetic materials, normally a type of calcium phosphate, as this mimics natural bone. Grafts of this kind can be replaced, over time, with natural bone as they are resorbed into the body and encourage natural bone growth. Some alloplastic grafts are made from a material which cannot be resorbed by the body and instead these will act as a scaffold on top of which natural bone can be built.


Cost of bone grafting


The need to have a bone graft prior to a dental implant will add to the cost of the procedure. We will advise you of this and all other costs during the consultation process.


Book your first bone grafting consultation appointment today!