Some patients in need of dental implants face a particular challenge if the jaw bone near the implant site has deteriorated. Patients who have been missing a tooth or several teeth for an extended period commonly need a bone grafting procedure before having any dental implants placed. In some cases, people who get dentures for the first time need to have their jaw bone restored using bone and soft tissue grafts. This helps prevent future bone loss under the dentures.
Bone grafts can usually be taken from inside the mouth, chin, jaw, and in extreme cases, the hip or knee. On occasion, a synthetic bone graft substitute can also be used to restore the affected area of the implant site. There is a variety of different bone & soft tissue grafting treatments available to meet each patient’s specific needs, including
- Ridge Augmentation. This more complex form of bone grafting may be necessary when the alveolar ridge bone, a special type of bone surrounding and supporting teeth, begins to deteriorate or lose density due to natural breakdown. A ridge expansion can be performed to widen or heighten the jaw to increase the bone density and have implants placed. During ridge expansion, the bony ridge of the jaw is split surgically, and bone graft material is inserted into the space made.
- Sinus Lift. When you lose a tooth in the upper jaw, it is often very difficult to replace them with dental implants because there is not enough bone present due to the open space above your upper jaw in the sinus cavity. The surgical team at Greater Modesto Dental Implant & Oral Surgery Center can perform a sinus lift procedure in which the oral surgeon enters into the sinus cavity and lifts up the sinus membrane. Then, a bone graft is placed below the lifted membrane that will naturally integrate with the bone in the jaw over several months. Once the graft has integrated, dental implants can be placed.
- Soft Tissue Grafts. Some abnormalities, as well as advanced gum disease that cannot be treated periodontally or nonsurgically, may require the application of soft tissue grafts. Such procedures can be used to cover an exposed root or correct uneven gum lines. Soft tissue grafts are small pieces of tissue taken from other areas and surgically implanted in the affected area. This helps to stop bone loss and the recession of gums and even helps reduce pain-causing root sensitivity.
If you are having a tooth removed or dental implants placed, bone grafting may be necessary to complete your treatment or preserve your jaw bone. Drs. Baker and Barber are happy to discuss your bone grafting options to develop a treatment plan that restores your oral health and smile.