Bone grafting is a common procedure that is frequently required prior to dental implant treatment. It might initially be a bit concerning to learn you need a bone graft, but there really is nothing to worry about.
Here at Comfort Smiles Dentistry, our trained dental implant professionals have carried out many bone graft procedures and we only use top quality bone grafting materials from trusted sources so your bone graft will be as safe and as comfortable as possible. All the materials we use are CDC approved and adhere to strict guidelines regarding their procurement, processing and, sterilization.
Bone loss is a common consequence of loss of teeth and chronic periodontitis. In the case of periodontitis, the bacteria gradually eats away at the underlying jawbone and at the periodontal ligaments that connect the tooth to the bone.
The most common cause of bone loss is tooth loss left unreplaced, especially multiple teeth. Jawbone is preserved through the pressure and stimulus of chewing. When that is removed through tooth loss, the bone “resorbs” (reabsorbs) into the body. In the first year after tooth extraction 25% of bone is lost, and this bone loss continues on.
When you visit Comfort Smiles, your smile is our top priority. Dr. DuBois and his dental team are dedicated to providing you with the personalized, gentle care that you deserve. Our dentist provides general, restorative and cosmetic dental services designed to assist each patient in achieving and maintaining long-term dental health and a beautiful smile.
After your natural teeth are extracted the jawbone quickly loses some of its mass and density, becoming thinner and weaker and less able to support dental implants. By having a bone graft, we can build up bone in areas where it is deficient, making sure there is plenty of high-quality bone to strongly support your dental implants. This not only helps to ensure treatment is a success but also provides valuable support for your gum tissues so the overall effect of treatment will be more aesthetically pleasing. It’s often necessary for us to build up the bony ridge that used to support your teeth, making it thicker and higher.
Another type of bone graft is called a sinus lift and this is another common treatment that is often carried out in preparation for dental implants being placed towards the back of the upper jaw. This is the area where your sinuses are located and these are large air-filled spaces. The size and shape of your sinuses can vary tremendously but often the bone in this area is thinner and weaker and less able to support dental implants. Carrying out a sinus lift procedure increases the bone in this area, helping to ensure the success of your dental implants. It’s a very straightforward treatment that simply involves accessing the membrane in between your jawbone and your sinus cavities and ‘lifting’ this upwards towards the sinus cavities. This creates a space in between the membrane and your jawbone that can then be packed with bone grafting material.
Not everyone will need a bone graft, but this is something we will determine very early on during your treatment through the use of sophisticated diagnostic tests. These initial tests include a Cone Beam CT scan. This is a specialized dental scan that produces a 3D image of your jaws so we will clearly be able to see the amount of healthy bone available for your dental implants. The image allows us to decide exactly where to place the bone graft and to decide how much grafting material is required.
All this advance planning helps ensure your actual bone graft procedure is quick and smooth. Sometimes it may be possible to place the dental implant at the same time, but this is generally only the case if a small amount of bone is needed. Otherwise, the bone graft will need some time to heal and integrate with your jawbone. Although this may extend the overall treatment time a little, the overall results should be well worth it.