One of the reasons a dental implant is such an effective way to replace missing or damaged teeth is how stable the replacement tooth feels. By inserting a titanium anchor directly into the jaw bone, the crown has a strong base that is firmly entrenched in your mouth.
However, what happens if your jaw bone is too thin or soft to fully support the dental implant? If that is the case, your oral surgeon will likely suggest a bone graft.
Bone grafting for dental implants is a procedure to strengthen the jawbone so that it is strong enough to support a dental implant. This is achieved by taking a portion of a bone from a different part of your body and grafting it into the jaw. By using special bone grafting material, the new bone fuses with the old bone and creates a stronger and thicker jaw bone that can support the titanium implant. While the procedure sounds intense, a bone graft is actually a pretty straightforward and safe procedure.
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In most cases, the surgeon will use one of or a combination of three different bone graft procedures. These three main kinds of bone grafts are the “Socket Graft”, “Block Bone Graft” and “Sinus Lift Procedure”.
The socket graft, also known as the alveolar ridge preservation graft, is a procedure to help fill the hole that is left when a tooth is lost. When a tooth is extracted, it leaves a hole in the bone that supports the tooth, which is the alveolar bone. This hole can grow over time, so it is oftentimes necessary to immediately fill the void left by the missing tooth. The socket graft fills the void and holds the space while the surrounding bone strengthens itself to eventually replace the gap.
The block bone graft, also known as the autogenous ramus graft or chin graft, is the graft that is used to replace bone in deficient areas. This bone deficiency can be the result of not performing a socket graft after extraction, an oral infection, if a normal tooth supporting bone never fully developed, or bone loss from an injury. The bone for grafting is usually taken from the lower jaw where the wisdom teeth used to reside (autogenous ramus) or from the chin.
The sinus lift bone graft procedure, also known as a subantral graft, is a procedure to add bone to the upper jaw by the sinus. The sinus is a natural air space that allows us to moisturize and filter air, and this space can become an issue if a dental implant is needed near it. There is little bone by the sinus, so the sinus lift graft adds a small amount of bone directly below the sinus that provides a safe base for a dental implant.
You don’t want just anyone performing a bone graft procedure. While at this point the procedure is relatively simple, in the wrong hands it can quickly become complicated. University Dental has years of experience performing bone graft procedures. Our dental surgeons and dental implant specialists have the experience and knowledge needed to efficiently and effectively perform a bone graft and dental implant.
Dr. Hage has done tens of thousands of successful dental and surgical procedures since 2005, notably more than 3000
If you are in need of a dental implant or bone graft, contact University Dental by giving us a call at (619) 582-4224.