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Dental Bone Grafting: An Essential Procedure to Add to Your Practice

January 31, 2022

Dental professionals are no strangers to all manner of tooth decay and tooth loss. In your day-to-day practice, you have likely met patients who needed dental implants to replace their lost teeth. And for many of these patients, dental bone grafts may be necessary before any implant surgeries can be performed.

If you’re reading this, you’re likely already familiar with dental bone grafting. However, you may not realize just how essential this procedure can be for patients in need of jaw restoration, as well as how lucrative it can be for dentists who wish to grow their practice.

A Growing Market

Before we begin tackling the importance of bone grafting in dentistry, let’s take a look at some numbers. In 2020, the dental bone graft market was valued at $663.2 million. Industry analysts expect this number to continue rising at a compound annual growth rate of 11.4% until 2028.

This data tells us that there is a growing market for dental bone grafts and substitutes. Since dental implant surgery is becoming more widespread, the need for bone grafts and tooth restoration techniques is also increasing. By including bone grafting in their practice, dentists can meet the rising demand, helping patients gain much-needed treatments while propelling their practice to success.

A Lucrative Procedure

Depending on a patient’s specific needs, the dental bone graft costs can vary widely. Simple grafts that use synthetic bone can cost anywhere between $300 to $800 per implant area. Meanwhile, grafts performed using the patient’s own bone can cost up to $2,500 to $3,500. Additional costs in X-rays and other screening procedures can further increase the rates from $250 to $1,000.

As you can see from this data, dental bone grafting is a very lucrative procedure. Running a practice allows dentists to be both clinicians and businessmen. When you offer bone grafting in your dental office, you can significantly improve your bottom line and grow your practice, and that’s on top of improving your patient’s experience.
What Is a Dental Bone Graft and Why Is It Important in Dentistry?

Dental bone grafting procedures are used to increase the volume and density of the bone in areas of the mouth where there is tooth loss or additional support is required. If bone loss affects nearby teeth’s health, bone grafting may be necessary before any further procedures, such as implant surgery, can be performed.

Once a dental bone graft has been placed, it acts as a scaffold, helping bone tissue heal, grow, and regenerate. Patients opt for this procedure to replace a missing tooth, address a periodontal disease that has resulted in bone loss, or have their tooth extracted.

Why Perform Dental Bone Grafts?

Providing a Strong Base for Dental Implants or Dentures
A bone graft may be necessary before a dental implant or denture can be fitted and placed in a patient’s mouth. Chewing can exert significant pressure on the teeth, and if the patient’s jawbone is too soft, it may not support the new implant fully.

Dentists can create a more solid foundation for the implants or dentures by first performing a bone graft on the patient. The dental bone grafts will be the support structures that keep everything in place.

Preventing Further Bone Loss
When patients lose a tooth, whether due to injury, decay, or periodontal disease, the health of nearby teeth and gums will also be affected. As such, dental professionals may recommend dental bone grafts to prevent further bone loss and help patients avoid the health complications and quality of life issues that may arise from the missing teeth.

Improving the Appearance of the Face and Jaw
Missing teeth can change a person’s appearance significantly, making the lower jawbone appear to protrude forward and make their face look shorter. To help enhance a patient’s appearance and overall confidence and well-being, dental bone grafts can be performed.

Different Types of Dental Bone Grafts

The type of bone graft performed on a patient varies on a case-by-case basis. However, in most cases, bone grafts must heal fully before any further procedures, such as implant surgery, can be performed.

Socket Preservation
For patients who recently had a tooth extraction, socket preservation is needed immediately afterward. The main goal of this type of dental bone grafting is to fill the void left by the extracted tooth and prevent the socket from caving in.

Ridge Augmentation
Some patients don’t see a dentist immediately after losing a tooth, so their supporting jawbone may be thinner. In these cases, dental professionals opt for ridge augmentation, which increases the width and volume of the jawbone. This dental bone grafting procedure creates a stable foundation for further tooth restoration procedures.

Sinus Lift
When a patient’s upper back teeth are missing, the sinuses, which sit just above them, can drop down and invade the empty space. Dental professionals cannot place implants unless the sinuses are raised back to their proper position. As such, the sinus lift, which is a type of bone graft for dental implants, is needed before any further surgeries can be performed.

Periodontal Bone Graft
Gum diseases, when left untreated, can cause infections that can lead to tooth erosion and bone loss. In these cases, periodontal bone grafts are performed to provide additional support for any loose teeth.

Dental Bone Grafting Materials

There are four different sources of material used for dental bone grafts, and each procedure has its advantages and risks.

Autografts
This type of dental bone graft uses bone taken from the patient’s body, such as through the back of the jaw, hip, or tibia. Autografts are considered the “gold standard” in bone grafting since they promote quicker healing and the formation of new bones. According to an NIH study, autografts are preferred over allografts and xenografts because they have a higher success rate and are stable for at least three to five years.

Allografts
Allografts are a type of dental bone graft wherein the bone used is taken from a different human source, such as a cadaver.

Xenografts
Unlike autografts and allografts, xenografts do not take bone from a human source. In this bone grafting method, bone grafts are created from animals such as cows, pigs, or coral. The samples are typically purchased from an animal tissue bank.

Alloplasts
In cases where human or animal sources are unavailable for dental bone grafting, synthetic materials can be used to create a substitute bone. The most commonly used materials for this procedure would be calcium phosphate and bioglass.

Dental Bone Grafting Procedure

#1: Pre-Procedure Screening
Before performing any procedures, dentists will first examine the patient’s teeth, gum, and jaw health. X-rays or CT scans may be needed during this stage to determine the extent of the patient’s bone loss. Once the tests are completed, dentists will discuss treatment options with their patients and decide on the type and kind of dental bone grafts.

#2: Dental Bone Graft Placement
The patient will be given a local anesthetic to numb the area where the bone graft will be placed. Then, the dentist will create a small incision that will move the gum tissue back, making the jawbone more visible. The bone grafting material will be added to the affected area after being cleaned and disinfected. Then, the gum tissue will be repositioned, and the incision will be stitched up.

#3: Aftercare
Patients will often feel a bit of pain, swelling, and bruising after undergoing a dental bone graft. Dentists may prescribe pain relievers and antibiotics to help manage the symptoms.

The Conclusion

Dental bone grafting is beneficial for treating tooth loss, helping patients enhance their smiles, and helping improve their overall quality of life. Adding this simple yet essential procedure to your armamentarium can do wonders for patient satisfaction and drive the growth and success of your practice.

If you’re interested in learning more about bone grafts for teeth or looking for the appropriate equipment and materials for this procedure, contact your friendly Benco representative. Let us guide you and help you grow in your dentistry journey!

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