Bone Grafting For Dental Implants – When You Don’t Have Enough Bone
Bone grafting for dental implants may not be a topic you’re familiar with but if you’re seriously considering dental implants as a means of tooth replacement, then it’s a procedure that you ought at least to be aware of. One thing that could potentially prevent you from receiving dental implants is your bone – or rather the lack of it.
Dental implants – The importance of bone
When a tooth is lost the bone that once supported it begins to break down and is reabsorbed by the body. Dental implants are commonly used to replace missing teeth but to be successful they need plenty of bone to support them. If that isn’t the case then your dentist may suggest bone grafting for dental implants.
Bone graft for a tooth implant – what are my options?
There are a few procedures which can be done if you’re lacking bone for dental implants.
- If back teeth are missing in the upper jaw, your surgeon may be able to increase the depth of bone available by adding bone to the sinus. This is known as ‘sinus augmentation’. A skilled surgeon can usually deliver predictable results for people who would otherwise be unable to have dental implants in this area of the mouth where it’s common for teeth to be missing.
- Bone can be added in various ways. One common method is to remove a piece of bone from somewhere else on the body and graft it onto the area where the bone is deficient. Over time this piece of bone slowly joins to the region beneath and as it matures and heals, it becomes strong enough to support an implant.
Dental bone graft procedure – where does the other bone come from?
Bone can often be taken from a patient’s chin or from the lower jaw, behind the back teeth. Although it means contending with the discomfort of a donor site and a surgical site, most people are willing to put up with this additional discomfort, since growing your own bone is often considered the best option for dental implants success.
Alternatives to your own bone for grafting
Other options include bone derived from cows or pigs or synthetic bone material. All of these materials create a framework including your own bone, in which to place your dental implants a few months later.
New bone can take anywhere from 3 to 12 months to grow depending on the individual and, if you need a lot of bone it will take longer than for a small amount. Some surgeons use a technique to supplement the bone called ‘ guided tissue regeneration’. This involves placing a barrier material for slow-moving cells to grow into; this is placed between them and the fast-moving cells found in the soft tissues of the mouth. Once it’s done its work, the barrier dissolves away naturally.
Does bone grafting for dental implants lengthen treatment time?
Invariably this will increase the overall duration of the dental implant procedure. However, it does greatly increase the success of the dental implants and can also improve aesthetics when placed in the front of the mouth.
In some cases, surgeons will combine implants placement with bone grafting and barrier membrane placement all at the same time. This reduces treatment time significantly and often produces results which couldn’t be achieved in any other way. Although in the main, surgeons prefer to treat bone grafting for dental implants as a separate stage so that dental implants are placed only when the grafting has been successful.
Whatever dental bone graft procedure is used in your treatment, the end results are sure to be worthwhile. If you’re considering getting dental implants come and talk to the friendly, experienced team at Smile Gallery. Give us a call today on (03) 8595 2632 to book your consultation.