Bone Grafting for Implants
Missing teeth over a period of time can cause your jaw bone to atrophy, or resorb. The absence of teeth results in poor quality and quantity of bone suitable for the placement of dental implants, as well as long-term shifting of any remaining teeth and changes to the facial profile.
Patients who have had teeth missing for an extended period of time may not be candidates for the immediate placement of implants due to the lack of bone.
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Fortunately, modern medicine provides patients with a means to grow bone where it is needed, providing patients with the opportunity to receive the placement of implants of proper length and width, leading to functional and aesthetic dental restorations.
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Do I Have Enough Bone?
After tooth extraction, gum disease, or injury, the walls of the tooth socket (the hole in the bone that remains after removing the tooth) are very thick. These walls usually fill in naturally with bone in two to three months.
This is the typical healing process. However, when the walls of the socket are thin (such as in the area of your upper and lower front teeth), the healing process is less than predictable.
Oftentimes, a bone graft, obtained from a tissue bank or taken from your own jaw, hip, or tibia, helps the body to fill in the empty socket and is placed at the time the tooth is extracted.
This step will maintain the width and volume of bone needed for the placement of an implant in several months.
1. Inadequate Bone
2. Graft Material Placed
3. Implants Placed
There may be an inadequate amount of bone for the placement of an implant if your tooth has been missing for several years and your bony ridge is extremely thin. In this case, a bone graft can be placed next to the thin bone and allowed to heal for up to 6 months.
Once the graft has fused to your existing bone, the ridge will be ready for the placement of an implant. There are various kinds of bone-grafting materials, including your own bone, that are available for the augmentation of your dental arches.
1. Inadequate Bone
2. Graft Material and Implant Placed
If the sinus cavities in your upper jaw are very large, or very low, and extend into the tooth-bearing area, a bone graft may be necessary. This often occurs when teeth in the back of a person’s upper jaw have been removed many years before, and the amount of bone available for implant placement is limited.
A “sinus grafting procedure” is then required. Most often, it is performed in the office with local anesthesia and perhaps sedation. During this procedure, the membrane that lines the sinus will be located and elevated.
Bone will then be added to restore the bone height and ensure that dental implants of an adequate length can be placed. This procedure often can be performed at the time of implant placement.
Restore Your Jawbone And Replace Missing Teeth