You might have wondered what the term dental bone graft means, in what cases it is necesarry and how much the costs are. Our article provides answers to the following questions:
- What is bone grafting and how is it performed?
- When is the intervention necessary?
- What risks are involved?
- What bone graft types are there?
- Costs of dental bone grafting
What is bone grafting and how is it performed?
The term stands for an intervention during which the augmentation of the jaw bone is necessary. Following the medical tests taken before the intervention, an evaluation is made. Based on this evaluation, the doctor can decide whether the augmentation of the jaw bone is necessary for an implantation or not. If it is, it must be clear how much bone is missing, and accordingly, how much bone would have to be replaced.
The procedure consists of the following 4 steps:
- First, local anesthesia is performed. Then the surgeon opens the patient’s gingiva (gum) so that the bone can be accessed.
- During the second step, the doctor fills the area in question with a bone replacement substance.
- Last but not least, an artificial membrane is applied. It promotes the healing of the wound and accelerates recovery.
- The fourth and last step is the recovery period following the surgery; it may take 3-9 months.
When is the intervention necessary?
Atrophy of the dental tissue is usually due to the edentuolus area, that is, the area of a missing tooth. Losing a tooth means that the mechanic pressure on the area of the missing tooth ceases, resulting in the thinning of the bone. If the patient would like to have implants inserted, they may have to face problems, as the amount of bone is not sufficient for the new tooth root. In such cases, bone grafting is the solution, as the missing tooth can be replaced without any difficulties after the process. Bone augmentation may also be necessary after the removal of a cyst or a dental root, and in order to stabilize the loosened teeth of patients suffering from periodontal disease.
What risks are involved?
Thanks to advanced technology used in the process, the risks involved are minimal. Of course, like in other medical intervention, certain complications may still occur. One of such problems may be that the substance used for replacing the bone does not properly grow together with the own bone. Should this happen, the artificial material is removed and another surgery is carried out to deal with the issue. The problem is not a frequent one, so the intervention can be considered safe and efficient.
What types of bone grafting are there?
We can distinguish between the following bone graft types:
- Sinus lift
- Vertical bone graft (jaw bone lift)
- Horizontal bone grafting (jaw bone augmentation)
- The combination of the above
- Filling of bone defects
The type of the intervention and the bone replacement material depends on the condition of the patient and the purpose of the operation.
In most cases, a bone graft is necessary in case of the replacement of the upper molars with implants. The upper molars are so close to the sinuses that their roots may reach it, so the implants would protrude the bone. If this is the case, the dental surgeon performs a so-called sinus lift before filling the bone with bone substitute. When an open sinus lift is performed, the specialist inserts the bone graft material through the patient’s jaw bone, while in case of a closed sinus lift,the intervention is carried out from the area of the missing tooth.
Vertical/horizontal bone grafting means the increasing/extending of the jaw bone by bone-spreading. During the intervention, the specialist inserts the bone graft material into the socket of the open jaw bone.
Filling bone defects is required after the removal of a large cyst from the oral cavity.
In each intervention, the area in question is covered by a special membrane after the insertion of the bone graft material. Ossification is a process that takes longer than the healing of the gums; thus, without the application of this membrane the bone density would be occupied by the gums, making the intervention pointless.
Dental bone graft cost
What influences the costs?
When it comes to bone grafting, the general calculation of expenses is a challenging task, as each case is unique most of the time. The total cost is basically calculated based on the amount of bone grafting, the type of the intervention and the material costs.
The actual price of the intervention is made up of:
- the cost of the surgery
- the cost of bone grafting material used
- the cost of the membrane used
during the surgery. The costs of surgery depend only on the type of the intervention. The amount of materials used is always determined per unit.
In case of synthetic bone graft materials, costs are calculated per gram, while in the case of the membrane, calculation of costs is based on the amount or area.
Different types and costs of dental bone grafting:
- Sinus lift: During this procedure, the dental surgeon lifts the sinuses and inserts the dental bone-graft material between the jaw bone and the sinuses. The surgical cost of a sinus lift is calculated per jaw side and the dental bone grafting costs based on the amount of necessary units to fill up the bone. The operating costs of a sinus lift are 377 £/jaw side. The bone replacement material (bone of animal origin or syntetic bone) costs 75 £/unit.
- Vertical/horizontal bone grafting: Increasing/extending of the jaw bone by jaw bone-spreading. Here, we calculate the costs per necessary unit to ensure enough bone for an implant. One unit costs 75 £. For example, if two units are necessary in a position for an implantation, the costs are 150 £ in total.