Dental implants are widely considered as the choice of patients and dentists for treating missing or lost teeth. For some patients, this option may be met with questions or concerns about whether the bone in the jaw is sufficient for supporting an implant. Some may ask whether they need a bone graft, which is a process that replaces lost bone from an alternative source, including animals or human cadavers.
Most dentists determine that there are various factors to understand about bone functions and how the bone graft is affected during placement. Other components to consider include the process of osseointegration, which is how dental implants bond with the jaw bone.
The bone is considered living tissue and can be structurally influential in the length of the bone graft healing process. The bone cells continuously experience a number of changes throughout a calendar year. This is further affected by the balance between osteoblasts and osteoclasts, which manage the production and reduction of new and old bone respectively. For patients undergoing a bone graft, it is important to consider this balance and recognize how it impacts the healing process.
During dental implant placement, a hole is drilled into the jaw bone to fit the implant. The fibrin in the resulting blood clot creates the connection between the implant and the bone. The bone cells then travel to the implant surface and facilitate the bone creation process. There is an additional stage where the bone hardens via mineralization. The length of this process can be a factor for how long bone grafts take to heal.
The type of bone graft considered is an additional difference in the healing process. Bone harvested form the patient’s own body or tissue can heal faster than bones from external sources. The shape of the bone is also considered, as those in the shape of particles can require a longer time to heal.
For additional information regarding bone grafts and recovery time, call Bixby Knolls Dental Group and schedule a consultation.
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