It is worth regenerating bone and gum tissue.
Strong and beautiful teeth boost your feeling of well-being and self-confidence and enhance your personal appeal – both in your private and professional life. Therefore, responsible dentists and dental surgeons today plan very accurately how missing teeth can be replaced and diseased teeth can be best treated, to restore your quality of life.
Bone and gum regeneration are important factors in your dental procedure. Treatment planning can benefit you by:
- Back to a healthy smile
Regeneration of bone and gums help to restore your smile.
- Providing a long-term solution
Regeneration of bone and gum tissue around dental implants can be crucial for a long implant life and an aesthetically pleasing result.
- Providing treatment planning flexibility
Regenerative measures to prevent shrinkage of the ridge after tooth extraction give you the flexibility to choose the right solution for you – from an implant or a bridge restoration.
What is a Bone Graft?
A bone graft is a medical procedure in which additional bone is added to your jaw to create a secure and welcoming environment for dental implants. If there is not enough bone, an implant can be rejected by the body.
A bone graft may or may not be a necessary step for the placement of a dental implant, based on the following criteria.
- Is the bone currently available thick enough for the implant?
- Is the bone deep enough?
- Is the bone wide enough?
If the available bone does not meet the requirements, a bone graft will help to increase the odds of a successful implant.
There are different degrees of bone grafts and the type that you receive depends on the current condition of your jaw bone.
If a damaged tooth is still present, demineralized and sterile bone granules will be packed into the tooth socket after extraction. A few stitches are required but this is considered a low-risk and simple bone graft.
If you lost teeth years ago, there is most likely significant bone loss. A slightly more involved graft will be completed. A small incision will be made in the area of the missing teeth and bone graft granules are placed to build up the area. In this case, the surgeon may prefer to use some of your own bone. This will be taken from another part of your mouth, usually near a wisdom tooth.
If your teeth have been missing for a substantial number of years, advanced bone loss may be present. This is even more true for individuals who have worn dentures. In this more intense bone graft, human bone and the patient’s own bone are both required. A large piece of the patient’s bone is needed and will be taken from the jaw or hip in the form of a small block. It is then anchored in place in the jaw bone. Granules are also used to fill in and build up the area.
How Does a Bone Graft Fit Into a Dental Implant Procedure?
There are quite a few steps involved in receiving a dental implant.
- Dental Exam: You will need a complete dental exam before you and your dentist can make the final decision regarding your dental implant(s). At this time, your dentist will evaluate the area around the suggested implant area to determine if there is enough bone available to support the implants. The quality and density of the bone will also be measured. In most offices, a 3D CT scan might be used to create an individual treatment plan.
- Prep Procedures: If there is still a damaged tooth in place of where the implant will go, it will be removed. Depending on the condition of the tooth, the bone graft is usually done at this same appointment. Your jawbone is allowed time to heal before the next step.
- Dental Implants Are Placed: Once the bone is healed and you are cleared by your doctor, you will be ready for the implants to be placed. These metal posts are inserted into your bone and will eventually hold your new permanent teeth. Several months of healing are usually required after this stage.
- Final Appointment: Once new bone and tissues have developed around the implants, you are ready to have your permanent teeth placed. While you were waiting for this appointment, your surgeon will have most likely placed temporary crowns or bridges on the implants. Your permanent teeth will be custom made so that the color, shape and size look as natural as possible.
The full process can take anywhere from three to nine months sometimes even longer. Most of the time is needed for healing and the development of new bone in your jaw.
Are There Any Risks?
Just like any medical procedure, there are certain risks involved with undergoing a bone graft procedure. Keep in mind that these are risks and not guaranteed side effects.
- The gums in the bone graft area may recede over time.
- Treated teeth may become more sensitive to cold or heat.
- Treated teeth may be more susceptible to cavities, especially in the roots.
- Immediately after surgery, bleeding and swelling can increase the risk of infection.
The American Dental Association mentions plenty of benefits from undergoing a bone graft for a dental implant. This process greatly increases the chances of a dental implant being successful, which is already fairly high thanks to the incredibly advancements in dental implant technology over the past few decades. A successful dental implant leads to higher confidence, better dental hygiene and can eliminate the need for embarrassing and uncomfortable dentures.
If you have considered dental implants or the process has been brought up to you by your dentist, the idea of undergoing a bone graft might be holding you back. But the information provided here should help you to feel more confident in your final decision.
The information in this website is solely provided for information purposes. Such information is not meant to be a substitute for advice provided by a dentist.