Dental implants are the first-line treatment for a missing tooth or teeth. Custom designed, single artificial teeth that come complete with artificial roots, implants mimic both the look and the function of natural teeth.
However, if you opt for dental implants, you must have sufficient and strong enough alveolar bone (i.e., jaw bone) to hold them. Dental implants involve the placement of a small titanium post that’s surgically inserted deeply into your jawbone. The implant fuses with the bone over time, and is then topped with a dental crown.
But what if your jawbone has atrophied over time? Or maybe it was damaged by disease or trauma. In such cases, your dentist may recommend a procedure called bone grafting.
At Full Circle Dental Care in Del City, Oklahoma, expert dentist Samuel Sigmon, DDS, wants to help you achieve a full and functional smile after you’ve lost one tooth or several teeth. If you’re a candidate for dental implants, he either makes sure you have enough alveolar bone, or he recommends you undergo bone grafting.
What happens when you get bone grafting?
Why you may need bone grafting
Not everybody who gets implants needs bone grafting. In fact, most don’t. But if your dentist says you need a bone graft before an implant, it’s not a suggestion, it’s a requirement. If your jawbone isn’t dense enough to hold an implant, then you can’t get one. Instead Dr. Sigmon may recommend a dental bridge or dentures.
However, if he feels like you’d benefit from bone grafting and you’re anxious to replace your teeth with implants, you may be able to have them after bone grafting. Bone grafting adds bone cells and mass to your jawbone so it can hold an implant securely. Without grafting, your implant could fall out.
How bone grafting works
Bone grafts, like any other type of graft, use donated tissue to build up a deficient area. The graft eventually becomes integrated with your own tissue.
Your dentist may use bone particles from another part of your body or from bovine or cadaver bone. The grafts repair and rebuild bones damaged by disease or trauma. In the case of dental implants, bone grafting increases your odds of long-term success.
What happens during bone grafting
A bone graft is a minor dental surgery that we perform in our office. We give you a local anesthetic to prevent any discomfort or pain. You may also wish to have an additional intravenous (IV) sedative to enhance relaxation and a state of ease and calm.
During the procedure, Dr. Sigmon creates a small incision in your gums that accesses your jawbone. He then adds the grafting material through the incision, so it can integrate with your jawbone.
Bone grafting may add time to your implant procedure
Even though the actual bone grafting procedure is quick, you can’t get your implant until the newly placed bone particles have strengthened your jawbone in the treatment area. The graft healing process usually takes a few months.
After the graft has healed, youre ready for the implant. Occasionally, if you only need a minor graft, you may be able to have it done during the implant surgery itself.
To find out if you need bone grafting for your dental implants, call our friendly Full Circle Dental Care team today or schedule a consultation through our online booking system.