Bone Grafting

At Avenue Dental we can offer bone grafting procedures at our Sunshine Coast Dental practices.   

Why Would I Need Bone Grafting? 

When a tooth is lost, the bone that once held the tooth begins to resorb away.  This loss of bone is most rapid in the first 3 months after a tooth is extracted.  It then continues at a slightly slower rate up to about 1 year after the tooth is lost.  After this, the bone continues to shrink away but at a slower rate.  This is important because we need adequate bone to place a dental implant.  If there is not enough bone to place a dental implant then that removes dental implants as an option and we need to look at other options to fill the space such as dentures or dental bridges.  However, with the progression of bone grafting materials and techniques we can now place dental implants in areas that may not have been possible previously.   

What Is Bone Grafting?  

There are three main types of bone grafts: autogenous bone grafts; allogenic bone grafts and xenogenic bone grafts.  Autogenous bone grafts are using your own bone harvested from another area of your body such as your chin or other areas of your jaw.  The problem with autogenous bone grafts is that it requires a second procedure to harvest the bone and that this often results in more pain as there are two surgical sites.  Allogenic bone grafts use bone harvested from a human cadaver which is processed using a freeze-dry method.  Finally, xenografts use bone harvested from another species (usually cow bone) which are processed at high temperatures to remove organic components from the bone to avoid immune reaction.  This method preserves the natural microstructure and bone composition of the bone, and is processed into small particles that look like grains of sand.  This provides a framework or scaffold for your natural bone to grow and fill the space.  At Avenue Dental we generally use xenografts from cow bone if you require bone grafting.    

When Is A Bone Graft Placed?  

Bone grafting can be placed at a number of stages throughout implant surgery.  The bone graft can be placed initially when a tooth is extracted.  This is often called socket preservation as we are trying to preserve the extraction socket after a tooth is lost so that it does not collapse and leave us with not enough bone for implant placement.  Bone grafting can also be placed at the same time as implant placement.   This is known as simultaneous grafting as the grafting is placed at the same time as dental implant placement.  This method is used when there are relatively minor boney defects.  Finally, bone grafting can be done as a stand alone procedure to try to maximise the amount of bone for a future implant placement.  This is usually done when there are more significant boney defects that cannot be corrected with simultaneous grafting.   

Does Bone Grafting Hurt? 

Our patients describe the pain after bone grafting as similar to having a tooth extracted and that this pain can generally be controlled with pain medications such as panadol and nurofen.  However, people usually experience significant swelling after bone grafting for a period of three to seven days.  People say that the swelling is disproportionate to the pain (ie it looks much worse than it feels).   

At Avenue Dental at each of our Sunshine Coast Dental practices in Caloundra, Kawana and Maroochydore the dentist will be able to assess you individually and be able to advise whether you need bone grafting and which type would be best for you.  If you are interested in a free dental implant consultation please contact us.