How Bone Grafting Can Make Implants Possible

Posted on 5/17/2017 by Tessa Smith-Greisch
A diagram of how a dental implant works.
Dental implants, small titanium rods that are surgically placed into your jawbone and used to support any number of crowns, have become the popular treatment option among both dentists and patients for replacing missing teeth.

This procedure can be used successfully on just about anyone. However, if you have already lost a significant amount of bone mass, you may first require a bone graft.

Why is Bone Important?

Your teeth perform a critical role in the health of your jawbone. When you chew, the roots of your teeth stimulate the bone, which triggers your body to send the essential nutrients that the bone needs to remain strong. When you lose your teeth, this stimulation is lost, so your body no longer sends those nutrients.

As a result, your jawbone begins to resorb and becomes weak. Over time, it weakens so much that when you do consider replacement options, your jaw is no longer stable enough to support the implants. If they were to be placed, they would most likely fail.

What is a Bone Graft?

A bone graft is a surgical procedure often performed prior to receiving implants, on patients who lack sufficient bone mass. There are a few different types of bone graft:

•  Autogenous. Bone is taken from another location within your own body.
•  Allogenic. Bone is taken from another person.
•  Xenogenic. Bone mass is taken from another species. It is first processed at extremely high temperatures, reducing the risk of infection or rejection.

In some instances, your oral surgeon may opt to use inorganic materials to fill the empty spaces in your jawbone, allowing your natural jaw to form around them.

Bone Graft Procedure

Before your procedure, you are given a local anesthetic. If you are using your own bone mass, a second local anesthetic is applied at the harvesting site. Incisions are made and the bone is removed.

Incisions are also made in your jaw, exposing the areas lacking bone mass. The donor bone is packed into place and the wounds stitched closed. Once you have healed, you can then receive your dental implants.

If you have previously been told that you were ineligible for dental implants because you lack sufficient bone mass, contact our office about the possibility of a bone graft.



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