Dental implants are small titanium posts that are surgically implanted into the jawbone. Once in place, they act as replacement tooth roots.
The implant post then integrates with the jawbone, creating a secure base for the restoration. Restoration is custom-made for each patient. It can consist of a crown, bridge, or denture.
Do I Need Bone Grafting?
Not necessarily! Many patients are good candidates for dental implants without bone grafting. However, it’s never a bad idea to talk to your dentist about whether you need it or not.
A bone graft is needed when there is not enough bone in your jaw to support a dental implant.
There are a few reasons why you may need a bone graft.
- You lost a tooth many years ago, and the bone in your jaw has receded.
- You suffered an injury and had to have a tooth extracted.
- You have periodontitis, which has caused your bone structure to be compromised.
- You are an adult with congenitally missing teeth.
- You grind your teeth at night, which has caused your jawbone to deteriorate.
Benefits Of Bone Grafting
There are several benefits of bone grafting. First, it can prevent the jawbone from weakening. When a tooth is extracted, it leaves a gap in your smile. Over time, jawbone tissue may resorb. This tissue is necessary to support the structure of your face. When bone tissue is lost, your jaw may become weak, and you may begin to experience problems with eating and speaking.
A bone graft can repair your jawbone so that it is strong and whole again. It can prevent your jaw from losing bone mass and density. Bone grafting also helps your remaining teeth stay firmly in place.
What Happens During A Bone Graft Procedure?
First, you’ll be given an anesthetic to numb the area. Then, your oral surgeon will cut a small section of bone from elsewhere in your body. Then, they’ll place the bone directly in your jaw, or they’ll use a special substance that encourages your body to grow new bone around the and through the new graft. Finally, your oral surgeon will create a bone graft site that matches the rest of your jaw.
Are There Any Alternatives To Bone Grafting?
Bone grafting is a surgical procedure in which your oral surgeon moves tissue from one area of your body to the jawbone, essentially “building” bone.
Your dentist may recommend a bone graft if there isn’t enough bone in your jaw to support a dental implant. A bone graft helps your body create more bone so that there is sufficient room for the implant.
Fortunately, there are other alternatives to bone grafting. These include:
- Sinus lift: If your sinuses are too close to your jaw, lifting the sinus cavity can help create more bone space.
- Ridge augmentation:Similar to a sinus lift, this procedure helps create more bone space by lifting your gum line.
- Jawbone reconstruction:This procedure is surgical and may be necessary if your jawbone is too narrow or too short.
What Is The Healing Time For A Bone Graft?
Bone grafts require at least six months of healing time, though this can vary by patient and case. During this time, the bone in your jaw grows and fuses together. After the graft has healed, your dental implants can be placed.
Full healing from bone grafts can take up to a year. During this time, your dental implants cannot be placed until the bone has fused together.
To learn about our dental procedures, call Desert Mountain Dental at (520) 324-0100 and schedule an appointment or visit our Tucson dental office.