If you lost a tooth due to ignoring your issues with gum disease, there is a still a chance of restoring your smile. The tooth most likely fell out because your jawbone was not strong enough to keep the tooth in place. Thankfully, a bone graft can help repair your weak jawbone and allow a dental implant to be installed. You need to know about bone grafting in case it is necessary for your procedure.
How Does Bone Grafting Work?
The bone graft process starts with getting x-ray. Your dentist must determine where your jawbone's weak points are, and comes up with a game plan for what they need to repair prior to installing the dental implant. Keep in mind that you may need more than one bone graft if you need multiple dental implants. It's also possible that only part of your jawbone needs a bone graft, and other parts are healthy enough to hold the implant.
You'll then schedule an appointment to have the bone graft performed. The process does require dental sedation, so you'll need someone to take you to and from the dentist office. You'll need either local or general anesthesia, depending on how comfortable you want to be. Bone grafts typically involve removing bone that is healthy from your hip or mouth, but cadaver or synthetic bone is a possibility as well. The bone will be removed at this time if necessary.
The last step involves making small incisions where your future dental implants will be placed, and inserting the bone. Sterile membranes are used with each bone graft to help you fight potential infections. Each incision site will be stitched up, and you will be sent home afterwards. Based on how long healing takes, your dentist will advise you on when to come back to have the dental implants installed.
Are Bone Grafts Covered By Insurance?
It is not common for dental insurance to cover a cosmetic dental procedure, but if a tooth was lost because of gum disease, you may be able to receive help. Bone grafts start around $200 for each one if a synthetic or cadaver bone is used. The price moves up to $2,000 when you need to have your own bone removed.
If you have more questions about the bone grafting process, reach out to your dentist. They will be the person that can let you know what will be needed for your specific situation.