If you are interested in rebuilding your smile and you need a dental implant, you may need some extra bone to place an implant. Dental implants need to be surgically placed in your jaw and anchored to your bone, one of the questions our Victorville patients ask is whether or not they will need a bone graft prior to the procedure. We encourage you to visit our dental office for an examination and X-rays so that we can answer this question based on your health.
What is bone grafting?
Bone grafting can be performed multiple ways but the purpose of the procedure is to add or build bone so that your jawbone becomes denser and stronger.
How does the jaw bone lose density?
This is due to bone resorption. Within the first year of tooth loss you can lose up to 25% of your bone density in the are of the missing tooth. And It only goes down from there. That is because teeth and roots stimulates the jawbone and that stimulation sends a signal to the brain that your jaw is serving its primary purpose. When your teeth fall out, that stimulation is reduced or eliminated completely. Then, the body begins to leach calcium from the jaw for use elsewhere. If you know that you are going to lose a tooth, do not hesitate to schedule a dental appointment since there are certain procedures that can prevent or limit the amount of resorption.
Other reasons for a loss of bone density is through periodontal (gum) disease, developmental defect, injury or decay and infections. Visiting the dentist on a regular basis for preventative care can help to reduce these risks.
Is it necessary to have a bone graft for a dental implants?
If you have lost bone density, your jawbone may no longer be thick enough to support an implant. When replacing your teeth with dental implants, a dentist will surgically place a small titanium post under your jaw and securing it to your jawbone. As such, your jawbone must be dense enough to support the dental implant. Think of it in the same way as if you were building a piece of furniture. The wood you were using would need to be thick enough for the screw. Otherwise, it would not be able to screw in all the way. A bone grafting procedure can increase the density of your jawbone so that the titanium post is a perfect fit.
How is bone added to the jaw?
Most likely the dentist will place processed bone into the area of loss bone. Additionally, there are new technological advancements that may not require bone at all but can work to actually transform cells into bone. However, this is may not work for everyone.
What is the process before the procedure?
X-ray will need to be taken of your bone so that the dentist and surgeon can create a plan for how to augment it. This is typically done using a CBCT scan, which Liberty Village Dental Care is equipped with. Additionally, you will need to decide whether you want to use processed bone or have bone taken from somewhere else in your body.
What happens during the bone graft procedure?
Most likely you will be heavily anesthetized this procedure. No matter what, the area will be numbed with anesthesia, so you won’t feel a thing. This applies to your gums and to any area from which bone is being removed. Next, an incision will be made in your gum tissue and a flap created so that your bone is visible. This allows the surgeon to identify exactly how much bone needs to be placed there. If bone is being taken from somewhere else, an incision will be made so that the bone can be extracted at this time. Grafting material will be placed where the bone once was and that area will be stitched up. Next, the new bone will be anchored to your jawbone using a titanium screw. Other grafting material may be used to surround that new block of bone. Some surgeons may also place membrane material around the bone graft. Afterward, the area will be closed and sutured.
How will I feel after the procedure and how long does it take to recover?
Immediately following your bone grafting procedure you will be very sore, this is similar to the feeling of having wisdom teeth extracted. To combat this, you will want to take painkillers and use ice packs for fifteen minutes at a time. You will also be given antibiotics to eliminate the possibility of infection and you may want to use an antibacterial mouthwash to prevent an infection. It is essential that you keep pressure off of the area and are careful with what you eat for several weeks.
For the process to be complete it takes several months, usually six to nine. This is because your body will either be building new bone around the grafting material or fusing your jawbone with the bone that was added from somewhere else in your body. Naturally this is a slower process but once complete, your dental implants can be placed and they should be far more secure as a result.
Is this a common dental procedure?
This is a highly specialized procedure that is only performed by certain dentists. This is why you may visit one dentist for a bone grafting procedure and another for dental implants.
Schedule an Appointment
The best way to find out if you need a bone grafting procedure is to call (760)394-3087 and schedule an appointment with our dental office. At Liberty Village Dental Care, we can take X-rays and let you know if your bone is lacking in density. We can then make a recommendation for treatment and let you know if you need to see a specialist.