You need to replace a tooth or you want your dentures firmly secured, so you’re looking at dental implants. Each year in the United States, five million implants are placed, offering recipients a new standard in prosthetic stability, allowing them to chew, speak, and smile with more confidence.
There are times, however, when we need to ensure this stability by creating a better foundation for your implant through a procedure called bone grafting. The team of dental experts here at Willow Glen Dental Specialists routinely performs bone grafting to help clients get on the road to strong, secure replacement teeth.
Here’s a look at why we sometimes turn to bone grafting for dental implants and how the procedure works.
There are several reasons why dental implants are a top choice for replacing missing teeth and securing dentures, not the least of which is their stability. With a dental implant, we place a post into your jawbone to secure your replacement tooth (or your dentures). The bone tissue grows up around the post, essentially fusing it into place like it did for the roots of your natural tooth.
Whether you're missing one tooth, a row of teeth, or all of your teeth, the odds are good that there’s been some bone loss in your jaw. In fact, this happens fairly quickly — within six months of losing your tooth.
If this bone loss is significant, it leaves us less to work with if we want to place an implant. To remedy this problem, we turn to bone grafting, a technique in which we add bone to the area — enough to properly secure the metal post.
The bone we use for the graft can come from your own body, donor tissue, or a synthetic replacement. And just as when you break a bone and the pieces grow back together, when we place a bone graft, it integrates into your existing bone.
We perform the bone graft procedure right here in our office, and it’s usually a fairly simple procedure using only local anesthesia.
If we need to augment the bone in your upper jaw around your sinus cavities, we might perform a sinus lift. With this technique, we borrow a little space from your sinuses to create more anchor bone.
If we’re performing a graft in other areas, we add the bone to where it’s needed to provide support for your future implant.
After your procedure, most bone grafts take about 6-8 weeks for the pieces to fuse together, though this timeline can vary. Once we feel the bone is solid and strong, we can place your implant.
If you have more questions about bone grafting and dental implants, please don’t hesitate to contact our office in San Jose, California, by calling 408-478-9081, or you can book an appointment with us online.