According to the American Academy of Implant Dentistry, more than 30 million people in the United States are missing their teeth. Of those who seek treatment, dental implants is an option. Although many of them have the bone structure needed to support the implants, some do not. If your dentist has recommended that you get a bone graft, here is what you need to know.
What Is a Bone Graft?
A bone graft is a procedure in which bone is built so that the dentist can insert the abutment for the implant into the jawbone. The bone can be from a variety of sources, such as a cadaver or even your own bone. Bone grafting can delay the implant of your teeth while the gums heal, but it helps to ensure the success of the implant.
How Much does a Bone Graft Cost?
The price tag for the bone graft depends on several factors, including the source of the bone. For instance, if the bone comes from a cadaver or is synthetic, the price can range from $200 to $1,200. However, if you opt to use your own bone, it can cost up to $3,000. Some insurance companies do help with the cost of the bone graft, even though the implants might not be covered.
How Is the Bone Graft Performed?
Prior to the procedure, you need a CT scan. The scan provides your dentist with a 3-D image of your jawbone so that he or she can determine exactly how much bone is needed to shore up your jawbone. The procedure is typically performed in-office. Before the procedure, the implant site is numbed. If you are donating bone from another area, it is also numbed.
The bone is then removed. Your surgeon might opt to refill the bone with a synthetic material before closing the area. The bone that is due to be implanted is anchored into the location with the help of titanium screws. After closing the site, your surgeon will give you antibiotics and prescribe prescription strength pain medicine and mouthwash to help keep the area clean.
Your dentist will assess the area after a period of time to determine if it is healed enough for the implant.
The idea of a bone graft can be intimidating for some, but it is a commonly performed procedure that can be instrumental in preparing your mouth for dental implants. For more information, talk to a professional like those at Milan Simanek, D.D.S. & Associates.