Bone Block treatment
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This may sound like quite a daunting procedure, but it is a fairly standard treatment for an experienced dental implant dentist who will be able to carry out the procedure in the dental office.
Bone augmentation is done under a local anaesthetic, which is used to both numb the area where the bone is removed (donor site) and where it is to be placed (recipient site). Once the anaesthetic has taken affect, the dentist makes an incision in the gum where the implant will go to find out how much bone is required.
Once the amount of bone needed is determined, the dentist will make an incision below the front teeth where the bone is at its densest around the chin. A piece of bone, including the marrow, is then removed for use in the implant area. This does not damage the chin or cause it to weaken. The dentist will usually implant a bone graft material to fill in the hole and cover it with a protective membrane to ensure it heals properly. This incision is then stitched closed.
Before implanting the donor bone into the recipient site, the dentist first makes a few small incisions in the existing bone to promote bleeding. This is because blood encourages healing and will ensure the bone augmentation will heal much quicker. After drilling the implant area to ensure a good fit for the donor bone, the dentist then places the bone in the recipient area and uses titanium screws to hold it in place.
Once secured, the bone augmentation is surrounded by marrow taken from the donor site and a bone graft material to ensure proper healing and reduce the risk of infection. Finally, the dentist places a membrane over the area and stitches closed the incision.
Before any implant can be inserted into the area, the new bone has to first heal and fuse with the existing bone. After the treatment, a patient is given antibiotics to prevent infection, painkillers and a mouthwash to help clean the area. You will need to avoid certain foods, and for a short time, not eat on the side of the mouth where the bone augmentation has taken place. The dentist may make a temporary bridge or give you a small denture to protect the area, while patients who wear dentures, may be asked to refrain from using them for a while
It can take between 6 and 12 months for the bone augmentation to heal properly and for the bone to fuse together, after which dental implants can then be placed in the area. During the implant procedure, the dentist will first remove the titanium screws in the bone augmentation, and then insert the dental implant.