Bone Grafting For Dental Implants

Do I Have Enough Bone For Dental Implants?

After tooth extraction, if the walls of the socket are very thick, they will usually fill naturally with bone in two-to-three months. However, when the walls of your socket are very thin (such as in your upper and lower front teeth), this type of healing will not be as predictable. In these situations, a bone graft is often placed at the time of tooth extraction to help your body fill in the empty socket with bone. This step will maintain the width and volume of bone you will need for dental implant placement several months later.

There may be inadequate bone for dental implant placement if your tooth was removed many years ago and your bony ridge is extremely thin. In this case, a bone graft can be placed next to the thin bone and allowed to heal for up to six months. After the graft has fused to your pre-existing bone, the ridge will be re-entered and the implant placed. Bone grafting is usually a relatively comfortable office procedure. Many different bone-grafting materials are available, including your own bone.

You may also need bone grafting if the sinus cavities in your upper jaw are very large, or very low, and extend into the tooth-bearing areas. This often occurs when teeth in the back of a person’s upper jaw have been removed many years before, and the amount of bone available for implant placement is limited. A “sinus grafting procedure” is then required. Most often, it is performed in the office with local anesthesia and perhaps sedation. During this procedure, the membrane that lines the sinus will be located and elevated. Bone will then be added to restore the bone height and ensure that dental implants of an adequate length can be placed. This procedure often can be performed at the time of implant placement.

Step 1: Tooth Removal

Our endodontist will carefully remove the damaged tooth if it’s still there.

Step 2: Jawbone Preparation and Grafting

Next, the jawbone is prepared for surgery. Bone grafting usually takes place during this time. This involves replacing lost bone to provide a solid foundation for the implants. It also helps restore proper facial contour.

Step 3: Implant Placement

The oral surgeon will make small incisions on your gum to expose the jaw bone. A hole will be drilled onto the jawbone and an implant metal post placed. This will serve as the root for the artificial tooth.

Step 4: Abutment Placement

After the area is properly healed, an abutment will be placed on your implant post. The abutment acts as the implant extension above the gums. This step makes dental crown placement easy.

Step 5: Crown Placement

A custom artificial dental crown will be created for you in a lab to match your natural teeth. The crown will be placed on top of your abutment, making it the only visible part of the implant.

Step 6: Aftercare

Antibiotics and pain medication will be prescribed to help you during the healing process. You’ll be advised to practice good oral health care and eat soft foods while avoiding alcohol, caffeine, and tobacco. You may also need to schedule future aftercare appointments at our facility

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