Has your dentist recommended a dental implant to replace your missing teeth? If so, you may need a bone graft before your implant procedure. Here, our Lethbridge dentists explain bone grafting for dental implants.
Bone Grafts & Dental Implants
If you are otherwise healthy but have lost a tooth from infection, periodontal disease or trauma, your dentist may recommend a dental implant to replace the lost tooth.
This artificial tooth rot will be surgically placed in your jawbone so that a tooh replacement like a crown or bridge can be attached. Once the procedure is complete, your implant will look and feel similar to your natural teeth.
That said, if your jawbone is too soft or thin to support a dental implant, you may need a bone grafting procedure to help strengthen your jawbone and preserve your oral health. A bone graft might also be needed to regenerate bone loss due to severe gum disease to prevent teeth from loosening or falling out.
The Dental Implant Procedure
Dentists will typically perform dental implant procedures in stages. The first stage is the extraction of a damaged tooth before preparing the jawbone for surgery. If you need a bone graft, your dentist will add tissue to your jawbone in order to strengthen it and to restore areas where your bone has deteriorated. Bone grafts can also restore proper contour to your facial area.
For dental implants, a titanium rod will be placed underneath your gum tissue into your jawbone before stitching your gums back together. The implant will bond with your bone through a process referred to as osseointegration. As the area around your implant heals, the implant will also attach itself to your gum tissues.
During another appointment, the dentist will attach the abutment to the rod, before using a tooth replacement to cap the abutment, leaving you with a functional, natural-looking tooth.
The material for bone grafts can be taken from your own body, purchased from a human tissue bank, or an animal tissue bank. In some instances, synthetic material will actually be used instead. Whichever material is used, it is transplanted onto your jawbone.
It can take up to several months from the date of your bone grafting procedure for your transplanted material to generate enough new bone in your jaw to support a dental implant.
Once the jawbone has healed, your dentist can surgically place the implant into the jawbone. This stage may also take up to several months to heal.
The next step is to place the abutment (an extension of the implant's metal post) into the jaw. After another period to allow the soft tissue to heal, the dentist will take molds or impressions of the teeth and jawbone before inserting the tooth replacement.
A Healthier Smile
While bone grafting and dental implant procedures may take some time, the process can leave your with healthier teeth and can protect your overall and oral health from the effects of bone detrioriatrion and missing teeth.
While bone grafting and dental implant procedures can take some time, the process can leave you with healthier teeth and help protect your oral and overall health from the consequences of bone deterioration and missing teeth.