Tooth loss can eventually lead to bone loss, also known as resorption. If there is not adequate height, width, or quality of bone left around the teeth, there may not be enough space to place a dental implant safely. Luckily, advances in bone grafting procedures have made it possible to restore the lost bone and make a secure dental implant hold feasible.
Bone Grafting Procedures
The type of bone grafting procedure necessary will depend on the location of your dental implants and the extent of bone loss that has occurred. Not all dental implant patients will need bone grafting to receive their implants, but the only way to know whether or not you will require a bone grafting procedure is to have a consultation and oral exam with an oral and maxillofacial surgeon.
Bone grafting procedures involve surgically placing bone graft material in areas where bone is sparse or at risk of receding. The bone graft material is made up of tiny granules of bone, which usually come from another part of your jaw or hip, or it can be obtained from a tissue bank. The graft material is suspended in a gel for easier application. Below are a few of the most common bone grafting procedures that dental implant patients receive:
- Socket preservation procedures are performed immediately after a tooth is extracted, usually during the same procedure, to prevent the rapid bone loss that occurs after the tooth is removed. The bone graft material is placed directly into the tooth socket once the tooth is removed.
- A procedure called a ridge expansion restores bone that has already been lost due to missing teeth, atrophy, or other reasons. When the alveolar ridge (the bone that holds the teeth in place) is not wide or tall enough to support dental implants, a ridge expansion can restore the volume of the bone and create space for a secure dental implant fit.
- Your oral surgeon can perform a sinus lift when there is not enough bone to place a dental implant securely in the upper molar region. The maxillary sinuses are located on either side of the nose above the upper molars. If there is not enough bone between the mouth and the sinus, the dental implant could enter into the sinus cavity during the procedure, causing serious complications. A sinus lift (or sinus graft) increases the amount of bone between the sinus cavity and the mouth, creating a foundation for a safe and secure dental implant placement.
- Nerve repositioning is a less common procedure that is necessary when there is a risk of damaging the inferior alveolar nerve during a dental implant placement. When the alveolar ridge of the lower jaw has undergone significant bone loss, the dental implant may get too close to the nerve, potentially damaging the nerve and causing numbness in the chin region. Nerve repositioning procedures involve surgically moving this nerve out of harm‘s way and placing a bone graft to hold the nerve in its new position.
Bone Grafting at Siouxland Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery
Our oral surgeons will be happy to help you form a treatment plan that fits your needs as a patient. We offer advanced bone regeneration treatments to speed up the healing process and allow for faster, safer dental implant placement. Platelet-rich plasma and bone morphogenetic protein treatments use your body’s own growth factors to expedite the healing process safely and efficiently. Contact us today to learn more about our bone grafting and dental implant options.