A dental bone graft is used when a person loses a portion of their jaw bone to disease or damage caused by an injury. Pieces of the hip bone may be put in place so the two bones can fuse together. A dental bone graft may be needed to rebuild the jaw or other bony structure if a portion is lost due to cancer or other degenerative bone disease. Bone grafts are used to stabilize the jaw and prevent future bone loss. Rebuilding the jaw bone allows for the use of dental implants that can successfully be used to restore a person's smile and maintain the natural structure of the face.
Just like any other type of broken bone, a bone graft can take from 6-8 weeks to fully heal. A piece of bone taken from another area of the body and attached to a prepared section of the jaw bone will eventually begin to fuse together just like two ends of a broken bone elsewhere in the body. Once the bone sections begin to fuse together, they'll create a bond that will hold both pieces together until they're fully healed. Because of the way the jaw is shaped, small screws or rods may be used to help the bones remain connected as the healing process begins.
A dental bone graft is often recommended when a patient is considering dental implants. For an implant to be secure, the metal post must be placed deeply into the bone. If the bone has started to deteriorate in any way, it may not be strong enough to hold the implant in place. A bone graft is used to create the proper amount of bone so the implant can be firmly secured in place. A bone graft may also be recommended if a person breaks their jaw or has their jaw broken to adjust for the use of certain dental appliances. The bone grafting procedure is relatively simple and will heal rather quickly compared to many other procedures.
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