Dental implants are probably the best option for people looking to replace one or more missing teeth. They have the appearance and function of natural teeth, to the point that they’re practically unnoticeable. Before the surgical procedure, however, one must strive to understand all of the details it entails. Some patients may need a bone graft before receiving dental implants.
When are Bone Grafts Needed?
During your consultation, we will discuss your personal medical and dental history with you and explore the potential gains and risks of the surgery. If we determine that this treatment is the right choice for you, we will start making plans to optimize your smile.
Dr. Raptou may discuss the possibility of a bone graft procedure before dental implant surgery if he is convinced your jaw bone is too soft or too thin to hold the implant stable. The mouth exerts a considerable amount of stress on the jaw bone when you chew, so the jaw bone needs enough strength to secure both natural and artificial teeth. If the bone can’t support the implant, it can ruin the results of the surgery.
What is the Procedure for a Bone Graft?
During a bone graft procedure, Dr. Raptou will take a piece of bone from another part of your body. Most recently, however, it is more common to use a special material for bone grafts and graft that onto the jaw bone. You will then likely have to wait, usually for many months, as the graft develops strong enough, new bone to serve as a solid base for the implant.
When done correctly, the bone graft will strengthen the jaw bone to it can properly support the new dental implant. After completing the bone graft, we can move on with the implant surgery proper. If you only need a small amount of bone grafted in, we can potentially perform the procedure at the same time we do the dental implant surgery, but it’s up to Dr. Raptou to make the call on that.
Types of Bone Grafts
A variety of bone grafts materials exist. Here are some of the main ones:
[[[ Autografts are bone grafts that use bone from your own body, typically from the back of the jaw or the hip
~Allografts take bone from another human donor
~Xenografts are grafts that use bone animals, most often cows
~Alloplasts are made of synthetic materials such as phosphorous, calcium and hydroxylapatite]]]
During your consultation, we will explain the strengths and weaknesses of these various materials, along with the grafting procedure itself.
Guided Tissue Regeneration
In addition to the bone graft itself, we may use mesh filters or tissue-stimulating growth factor proteins. These proteins tap into your body’s ability to regenerate tissue and bone matter.
One procedure we utilize alongside bone grafts is known as guided tissue regeneration (GTR). This procedure involves putting a small piece of mesh between the bone and the gum once we insert the bone graft. The mesh blocks gums from moving into the spot where the new bone is meant to develop.
We utilize many different growth factors, barrier membranes, and graft materials, both individually and in combination with each other. Bone grafting and GTR are some of the most cutting-edge innovations we have in promoting dental health. New grafting and regenerative techniques are continually under development for periodontal augmentation. We look forward to what the future holds for restorative treatments.
For more information, please contact our office at (614) 427-0449.