When a patient has been missing a tooth for a long period of time, the jawbone tends to shrink around the tooth socket. This process is called bone resorption. While the process is generally harmless, it can change the patient’s facial structure, and bone resorption can make it more difficult to place a dental implant. In this scenario, Surf City Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery can place a bone graft to encourage the jawbone to become denser around the tooth socket in order for a synthetic tooth to be placed.
Why Do I Need a Bone Graft?
To understand why a patient needs a bone graft, it is important to first understand what a dental implant is. A dental implant is a type of synthetic tooth that is implanted into the jawbone like a natural tooth would be. In this way, the dental implant feels as natural as a normal tooth, which often makes it a more preferable option in comparison to oral appliances. However, a dental implant can only be placed where the jawbone is sufficiently dense. Patients who have lost jawbone mass due to severe periodontitis or have experienced bone resorption may need a bone graft. A bone graft is packed with grafting material which is made up of real and synthetic bone. Our oral surgeon may advise using the patient’s own bone, which would involve another minor surgery. The grafting material includes all the material the jaw needs to create more bone and encourages it to thicken around the tooth socket.
How Is a Bone Graft Placed?
Using local anesthetic, the oral surgeon will make an incision in the gum and pack the material in the area affected by bone resorption. They will then seal the gum and give the patient aftercare instructions. It is important to try and not disrupt the surgical area, as the bone grafting material will still be delicate for some days. Patients may feel particle-like fragments in their mouths, which is perfectly normal as the graft begins to settle within the bone. The bone graft can take anywhere between 2-12 months to sufficiently increase the bone density for the dental implant. With appointments scheduled every four months, our professionals can assess how well the bone graft is doing and more accurately predict when our team can fit the dental implant. How long it takes for there to be sufficient bone mass depends on a number of factors including how much more bone density a patient requires. This may seem like an extensive extra surgery for a dental implant, but it is an essential procedure that allows the patient to strengthen their jawbone and allow for future procedures. It can improve a person’s facial shape if it has shrunken due to bone resorption, and a bone graft can be a positive step forward for a patient with periodontitis.
Bone regeneration is a surgical procedure that encompasses tissue regeneration and carefully planned-out regeneration of dental bones. With a bone regeneration process in action, a healthy bone is utilized to assist with the growth of a new bone in areas where your jawbone is weak.
While each case can be different, here are some general guidelines you might want to follow:
Surf City Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery can place your next bone graft in order to strengthen your jawbone for further treatment. Our team strives to deliver the most accommodating treatment plan possible and the goal to create a healthier oral cavity for you. To book a consultation appointment and start your treatment plan today, call our office at 657-384-2787.