Patients who have been missing a tooth or several teeth for an extended length of time may need to undergo a bone grafting procedure to restore the bone that has been lost and give implants a better foundation.
Tooth roots naturally stimulate your jaw bone and keep it healthy and strong, so the jaw bone can shrink over time if missing teeth aren’t replaced right away. When bone loss occurs, there may not be enough bone to place dental implants successfully. Bone grafting is also used to repair bone that was damaged by periodontal disease.
What is bone grafting?
There are various types of bone graft procedures, and the type of bone graft you receive will depend on your specific condition and procedure. Sometimes this bone is taken from another area of your jaw bone or sometimes from a tissue bank. The strict protocols used by the tissue banks make them a very safe and effective solution.
In ridge preservation procedures, bone is placed into the empty tooth socket when a tooth is removed. This particular procedure can only be done at the time of tooth extraction. These bone grafts typically do not involve an extensive recovery period. Ridge preservation is a routine procedure for patients interested in replacing extracted teeth with dental implants. When this treatment is performed following extraction, patients decrease or eliminate the shrinkage or collapse of the bone and tissues surrounding the missing tooth site. The grafted bone, which usually comes from a tissue bank, fully integrates with your natural bone over a few months after the procedure and offers a strong base for a dental implant. This is the most cost-effective and predictable way to prepare for an implant.
Sinus augmentation procedures are generally performed when dental implants need to be placed in the upper jaw at the back of the mouth. The sinus cavities are empty, air-filled spaces, and the bone separating the sinus from your upper back teeth may be very thin. This can make dental implant placement impossible without addressing it surgically. To correct this problem, a sinus augmentation can be performed to increase the thickness of the bone, making implant placement possible. During this procedure, we can carefully lift the sinus floor and place a bone graft into the newly created space, which provides a sturdy foundation and the best setup for successful implant placement.
Ridge splitting is a common form of bone grafting that is performed when the jaw bone is too narrow to accommodate dental implants. During a ridge splitting procedure, the jaw bone is opened directly down the middle, and bone grafting material is placed in the new space created. By widening the jaw bone through this technique, dental implants can properly integrate with the bone and form a solid foundation for your replacement teeth.
Block onlay grafting can be utilized when the amount of bone loss is more significant. This increases the amount of bone by taking a block of bone, typically from the back of the lower jaw, and securing it to the area of the future implant under the gum tissue. Over a few months, this new bone incorporates or heals to the thin jaw bone, making the bone wider and taller as needed.
What are the benefits of bone grafting?
A bone graft supports your healthy natural teeth and increases their longevity by creating a stable and durable base for the tooth root. Bone grafts also allow many patients to move forward with dental implant procedures. Patients who do not qualify for the placement of dental implants due to insufficient bone can be considered viable candidates for tooth replacement procedures if they receive a bone graft.
After a bone graft procedure, you dramatically increase your jaw’s ability to anchor dental implants properly. If you have been recommended for a bone graft procedure and would like to learn more about your specific condition, please call Granger Oral Surgery & Dental Implants in Granger, IN, to speak with our friendly staff and make an evaluation appointment with Dr. Anderson.