To Graft or Not to Graft
A bone graft creates a foundation for dental implants. In grafting, a piece of bone is removed from another part of your jaw and transplanted to your jawbone. The transplanted bone is then expected to grow enough new bone to support the implant. A patient’s health and the implant procedure they choose can determine whether or not they will need grafting prior to the procedure. Many patients want to know if they will need grafting and if you are one of them please give us a call at (303) 219-2055. Highpoint Dental Care is dedicated to making sure you have the most comfortable and efficient experience possible. We will gladly set you up for an appointment where we can take x-rays and go over all of your options. We sit down with every patient to create a personalized dental plan to ensure we take the best route possible to get you the results you want.
Bone Density Matters
The functional and cosmetic success of a dental implant, both short-term and long-term, is critically dependent upon the amount and quality of bone that will receive the implant. Due to this, bone grafting plays a crucial role in implant dentistry. It all depends on whether there is sufficient bone to meet the specific structural, functional, and cosmetic demands placed upon the planned implant and subsequent tooth replacement. These variables are different from patient to patient, as is the amount and density of bone. Therefore, it is essential that the quantity and quality of bone are measured for each and every implant patient prior to actual implant surgery. Think of it in the same way as if you were building a piece of furniture. The wood you were using would need to be thick enough for the screw. Otherwise, it would not be able to screw in all the way. Here are some things that could cause bone deficiency:
- Gum disease
- Tooth development defects
- Wearing dentures long term
- An injury to the face or trauma
- Spaces left empty in the mouth after teeth are removed
- Dental procedures where efforts were not made to restore natural bone
Besides halting a patient’s accelerated bone loss, bone grafting could also make it possible for the best tooth replacement choice available in cosmetic dentistry—dental implants. Since their introduction over three decades ago, dental implants have increased in popularity among both patients and dentists for their lifelike appearance, durability. But implants require a minimum amount of bone at the site for proper anchorage, and adequate bone ensures the implant’s eventual crown placement will function properly and appear natural. Bone regeneration through grafting can improve the bone mass at a missing tooth site to the point that a dental implant becomes indistinguishable from a natural tooth. The implant’s unique composition also holds an added benefit for bone health: The titanium post inserted into the jawbone becomes fused with bone tissue, encouraging continued bone growth in the area. Bone loss can harm your oral health and can cause you to look older than you are. But in many instances, bone can be regenerated and strengthened with obvious benefits to both your health and appearance. Grafting technology and its continuing advancements not only promote new bone growth but controlled growth for the most optimum result. Bone grafting can truly create new opportunities for better mouth function and a more attractive smile.
Excessive bone loss isn’t inevitable if you lose a tooth. Dentists can perform bone grafting procedures with materials that stimulate new bone growth at the missing tooth site. And, if placed immediately after a tooth extraction, grafting can prevent excessive bone loss and allow for future dental implants to be placed. Bone grafting for dental implants is typically performed months before implant insertion. Your own bone can be used or processed bone may be used. Additionally, there are some newer technologies that may not require bone at all but can work to actually transform cells into bone. However, this is new technology and may not work for everyone. When circumstances preclude implant placement at the time of tooth extraction, bone grafting is often necessary to preserve the existing bone around the extraction socket and to promote the formation of additional bone. Most likely you will be put to sleep for this procedure. No matter what, the area will be numbed with anesthesia. This applies to your gums and to any area from which bone is being removed. Next, an incision will be made in your gum tissue and a flap created so that your bone is visible. This allows the surgeon to identify exactly how much bone needs to be placed there. If bone is being taken from somewhere else, an incision will be made so that the bone can be extracted at this time. Grafting material will be placed where the bone once was and that area will be stitched up. Next, the new bone will be anchored to your jawbone using a titanium screw. Other grafting material may be used to surround that new block of bone. Some surgeons may also place membrane material around the bone graft. Afterward, the area will be closed and sutured.
Check out what others are saying about our oral health support services on Yelp: Will I Need a Bone Graft for Dental Implants? Aurora.
After the Procedure
After the procedure, you will usually be given antibiotics, pain medication, and an antibacterial mouthwash. Additionally, you will be instructed to avoid eating certain foods, as well as avoiding putting pressure on the bone graft. You will return home in between dentist appointments while the bone graft heals and should be able to work and go about your everyday life. Your implants will be placed after the grafted bone has fused or become a strong, integrated part of the existing bone. The amount of time the integration takes varies depending on the location of the graft and the density of the bone. It may take three or more months.
Schedule an Appointment
The best way to find out if you need a bone grafting procedure is to call 303-219-2055 and schedule an appointment with our dental office. At Highpoint Dental Care, we can take X-rays and let you know if your bone is lacking in density. We can then make a recommendation for treatment and let you know if you need to see a specialist.
Helpful Related Links
- American Dental Association (ADA). Glossary of Dental Terms. 2015
- American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry® (AACD). Home Page. 2015
- WebMD. WebMD’s Oral Care Guide. 2015
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