One of the major factors in being a candidate for dental implants is having a strong jaw bone structure. But if you have been missing teeth for a while or if you have controlled periodontal disease, then your dentist may inform you that you need bone grafting done before the implant procedure can commence.
The reason? You need a stronger bone structure that is capable of securely anchoring the implant. Without it, placement of the implants will be difficult and their risk of failure increases.
What is Bone Grafting?
Bone grafting is a surgical procedure to rebuild the jaw bone by transplanting bone tissue. It makes the bone stronger and sturdier to handle the dental implants and fuse with them properly so that they can be a success.
The material used in bone grafting may come in the form of a gel, granules, powder, or putty. It can be from your own bone nearby in your mouth, from other synthetic bone-like substitutes, or from animals. Your dentist can talk this over with you to determine the best choice for you.
It should be noted that not everyone will need bone grafting prior to getting dental implants.
The Bone Grafting Process
First, a local anesthetic is used to numb the area. Then, to start the actual procedure, a small incision is made in the gum tissue in the area requiring the bone graft, exposing the bone. Through this small incision, the new bone material is transplanted into the jawbone. The idea is that your jaw bone will fuse together with this material creating a strong, sturdy foundation for your implants.
Once the bone graft has taken place, it may experience some minor discomfort. Cold compresses and over-the-counter medication can offer relief.
Keep in mind that it can take at least a few months before the bone will be ready to proceed. Doing it too early can result in a failed dental implant. It is best to be patient and ensure that the support is there before beginning the dental implant process.
Benefits of Bone Grafting
You may feel discouraged if you were looking forward to dental implants only to find out that you have to delay the process due to bone grafting. The good news is that there are a few benefits to having this procedure done, including:
- Restore bone mass required for future dental procedures, including dental implants and orthodontic treatments.
- Restore facial structure resulting in an enhanced appearance and boost in confidence for the patient.
- Improve the function and boost the support of dentures, implants, crowns, bridges, and more.
Bone Grafting for Your Dental Implants
If you are in the Massapequa, NY, area and have been contemplating dental implants, Dr. Jay B. Lubliner, DMD, PLLC, and his team are here for you.
A thorough assessment of your bone structure will let us know whether or not you need bone grafting and we can discuss your options. Remember, not every dental implant patient requires it – you could move ahead with implantation and avoid bone grafting altogether.