Many dentists rightly recommend dental implants as the best way to replace missing teeth. However, fully benefiting from implants requires patience and multiple surgeries. There is a surgery to place the implants, and later there is a minor procedure wherein the dentist attaches the implant abutments (little pieces that the new teeth get attached to). Before all of that, however, yet another surgery may be necessary: a bone graft. Your implant dentist in Marietta, OH explains why this is often a vital step in a patient’s implant journey.
Why Are Bone Grafts So Important?
One of the best things about dental implants is that they form a bond with your body, providing an extremely strong base of support for your new teeth and helping to prevent bone loss. In order for that bond to be successful, however, you first need to have sufficient bone height and density for your oral surgeon to place the implants.
Many patients do not have enough bone in their jaw because of past tooth extractions. As soon as you lose a tooth, the bone that held it in places begins to be resorbed — your body takes the bone and uses its material for other purposes because it is no longer necessary to support the tooth. Other reasons why there may not be enough bone in your jaw include gum disease, trauma, and genetics. In all these cases, a bone graft is necessary to build up the bone where the implants are going to be placed.
What Does a Bone Graft Involve?
During a bone graft, your oral surgeon will attach bone to your jaw. As you heal after surgery, your body will accept the new bone, and eventually (probably after a few months), you’ll be ready to receive your implants. The bone used during a graft may come from another part of your body or a tissue bank. It may also be possible to use artificial bone.
There are different types of bone grafts. Here are a few examples:
- A special type of graft is a sinus lift, wherein the oral surgeon places more bone between the sinuses and your mouth.
- A socket graft places bone into a socket where a tooth was removed.
- A lateral ridge preservation graft makes the jawbone wider.
- A block bone graft corrects major defects in the jaw’s structure.
Regardless of the type of graft you need, your dentist will be sure to explain the details of your surgery with you beforehand so you can go into the procedure as an informed and confident patient.
Are you ready to enjoy the benefits of dental implants? You may need a bone graft to give your new smile the best possible chance of success.
About the Dentist
Dr. Jeff Lee is your Marietta implant dentist. He performs both bone grafts and implant placement with precision and skill. If you are interested in learning more about how he can help you regain your lost smile, please contact our office at 740-236-9392.