Bone Graft Surgery: You Can Have a Strong, Healthy Jaw Again
Why Bone Graft Surgery May Take Place Before Dental Implant Placement
Dental implants are an excellent tooth replacement option because they use the jawbone as a solid foundation. However, patients require a certain thickness and depth of bone to provide that support. Bone graft surgery provides an option for patients who don’t have the necessary jawbone size or strength.
The procedure grafts bone tissue to the affected area, which naturally integrates with existing bone structure to provide a strong foundation. Anyone who has gone an extended period with missing teeth may need bone graft surgery due to jawbone deterioration. However, simple natural variation can also lead to a jawbone that requires augmentation.
Different Types of Bone Grafts
The term bone graft surgery can refer to a variety of different procedures that can preserve or build up bone tissue. Along with their use in preparation for dental implants, bone grafts are also used to repair various types of bone fractures and other issues.
Socket preservation is sometimes necessary after tooth extraction. This procedure is performed immediately after a tooth extraction, placing the bone graft in the socket to prevent collapse and long-term issues.
Ridge augmentation is the procedure that most people think of when they hear of bone graft surgery. The procedure increases the jawbone’s size to allow for a stronger foundation for dental implants. Ridge augmentation is often necessary due to jawbone deterioration following an extended period with missing teeth.
A sinus lift is another common type of bone graft that may be necessary for upper back teeth implants. Your maxillary sinuses are located near those teeth, and the cavity could leave too little space for dental implants. The floor of the cavity is thickened with a bone graft, and the sinus membrane is adjusted.
There are also different categories of bone grafts based on where the bone material to be grafted comes from. An autograft refers to taking your own bone tissue from another location and transplanting it. An allograft relies on a sample provided by another person.
Other sources can sometimes be used as well. A xenograft uses bone from an animal, typically a cow. There are also alloplasts—bone grafts that use synthetic materials designed for this application.
Planning Your Treatment
If you’re considering All-on-4 dental implants or other options, the first step will be a consultation to discuss your options. Different types of imaging will be required to assess the state of your jawbone and any remaining teeth, including i-CAT 3D imaging.
A state-of-the-art tool, i-CAT 3D imaging is used for planning dental implant placement, bone graft surgery, and other oral surgeries. The 3D imaging includes both soft and hard tissues and provides exceptional resolution and accuracy.
With these scans, we will carefully plan the precise placement of your dental implants. This includes determining where bone graft surgery will be necessary to augment the jawbone and provide a stronger foundation.
Your Bone Graft Procedure
Bone graft surgery is generally straightforward. In most cases, it can be carried out with local anesthetic without the need for further sedation. The dentist will make an incision in the gums where the bone is to be grafted and will clean and sanitize the area.
The dentist places the bone in the appropriate location and often fixes it with a special membrane. They then stitch the incision in the gums, and your procedure is complete.
Sinus lifts can be more involved, as the bone graft must be placed from below. This requires cutting a small hole through the bone in the sinus floor. The sinus lining is carefully lifted, and the bone graft material is inserted into the cavity. The hole is then closed, and the area is stitched up.
After Your Bone Graft Procedure
It takes around three months for the bone graft to integrate with existing bone tissue to the point that you can have your dental implants placed. However, you’ll feel just fine within a day or two of the procedure. Most patients can return to work the next day without any problems.
Once the bone graft is fully integrated, you’ll have the strong jaw required to provide a foundation for dental implants. After your implants are placed, you’ll be able to enjoy a natural-looking smile that stands up to the forces involved in chewing and other everyday activities.
Find out more about dental implants.
If you’re considering All-on-4 dental implants or other restorations, you can visit MASC Dental Studio to find out what your options are. Dr. Enjati will evaluate your case and develop an effective treatment plan, which could include bone graft surgery. Schedule your consultation today to find out more.