When a tooth or multiple teeth are missing from the mouth and are not replaced, the jaw begins to shrink because it is not receiving the stimulation it needs to maintain the bone density. This can make it difficult to replace the missing teeth with dental implants. A bone grafting procedure can rebuild the degraded jaw bone to allow for dental implant placement.
There are several bone grafting procedures available, and the type you receive depends on your specific needs. Sometimes, a bone graft is placed at the time the tooth is removed to prepare it for a dental implant in the future. A bone graft can also be used to restore the jaw bone following the loss of multiple teeth.
Sinus Lift Procedure
A sinus lift is a specific type of bone grafting procedure performed to increase the height and width of the bone in the maxillary sinuses. During the sinus lift procedure, your oral surgeon carefully raises the sinus membrane from the bottom of the sinus cavity and fills the space with a bone grafting material. After appropriate healing of the bone graft, dental implants can then be placed successfully and with more predictability.
A ridge augmentation can be performed when you need to widen or increase the vertical height of the jaw to provide for implant placement. This is a routine form of bone grafting. The alveolar ridge bone (a special type of bone surrounding and supporting teeth) begins to deteriorate or lose density due to natural breakdown after tooth loss that is often remedied with ridge augmentation. Once the bone is rebuilt, it generally takes four months for the bone to consolidate and calcify before it’s ready to receive implants.
Socket preservation mitigates the jaw bone damage that can occur following tooth extraction. Socket preservation is performed in the same surgical procedure as tooth removal. When the tooth has been removed from the socket, the socket will be filled with a graft consisting of donor bone, your own bone, or a bone substitute material. Depending on your condition, an artificial membrane in combination with tissue stimulating proteins, such as platelet-rich plasma, is added to the grafting material to enhance and accelerate healing.
Where does my bone graft come from?
Bone graft material can be obtained from a variety of sources. It’s possible to use your own bone, but a suitable graft can also come from a tissue bank. If you choose to use your own bone, the ideal location is a bone graft taken from near the third molar site in the upper or lower jaw. But in some cases, bone from another area like the chin, hip, or tibia may be used. Additional bone graft material can be obtained from a tissue bank, or a mineralized bone substitute can also be used.
If you are missing multiple teeth or have been told you need a bone graft procedure in order to place dental implants, please contact our office and schedule a consultation with Dr. Pitrowski or Dr. Goldberg to determine your bone grafting treatment options.