What is bone grafting?
Dental implants are becoming more and more popular among patients in Milwaukee, WI because they are realizing its benefits and its ability to provide a more permanent solution to missing teeth. However, dental implants are not for everybody. Dental implants require that the patient have a substantial amount of jaw bone to support the artificial tooth root that will be surgically implanted. But thanks to the developments in dental technology, dental implants are now a possible option for patients with not enough jaw bone mass through bone grafting techniques.
Bone grafting are techniques that your dentist will use to increase the amount of bone that you have in your jaw region to make it possible to perform dental procedures such as dental implants. Bone grafting procedure can either be very minor or extensive depending on how much is needed to support the dental implant. Bone grafting may be required for patients who already have enough bone mass to accommodate the dental implant, but lack bone mass on the sides only. This technique will require a small bone graft to be performed and can be done during the dental implant procedure. If there is a need to make major changes in the shape of the jaw so that a dental implant can be placed, the bone grafting should be done several months before the dental implant procedure is scheduled.
Bone grafts may be harvested from the patient’s own bone, a frozen and dried human bone that is available from a tissue bank, a bone substitute, or bone elements from animals. It is preferred that material to be used for bone grafting comes from the patient’s own bones. In minor bone grafting, bone shavings collected from drilling the jaw bone for dental implantation placement can be collected and used for the grafting techniques. When a larger bone graft is required, a special surgery will be performed to harvest the bone from other areas in the patient’s body. Mineral bone substitutes are also a good option as they are sterile and absorbed by the patient’s body over time to be replaced by their own healthy bone.
What are the types of bone grafting?
Bone grafting procedures can already be performed during your dental implant surgery when your dentist determines that you would need additional bone mass in order to accommodate the dental implant.
It is ideal that a simple bone grafting procedure be done whenever a patient will come in to have their tooth extracted to ensure that the bone mass is preserved or maintained even after the tooth has been lost in case the patient decides to have restorative procedures done later on. This bone grafting procedure will involve using sterile human bone granules that will be packed into the tooth socket after the tooth was extracted by your dentist. This will be covered by a collagen membrane that will protect the bone graft and the tooth socket will be closed with stitches. Over time the granules will be replaced with your own bone maintaining the level of bone in your jaw even with the absence of the tooth.
If your tooth was extracted years ago and you are considering having dental implants put in now, an incision will be made where the missing tooth was and bone graft granules will be used to build up this area. To protect the granules, a protective membrane of collagen will be used and the area will be closed up with stitches. After a few months the bone graft will be integrated into the patient’s surrounding bone tissue and you can now proceed with having your dental implants installed to restore your missing tooth.
A more extensive bone grafting procedure is required for patients with more advanced cases of bone loss such as those who have missing teeth and wearing dentures for a long time. Using the patient’s own bones or bone substitutes, the jaw bone will be built up and the bones will be secured to the patient’s jaw using specialized plates and screws. Bone granules will also be used to enhance the appearance and shape of the new jaw. The new bone will also be protected by a membrane of collagen, closed up, and will be left to heal for a few months before proceeding with any dental restoration procedures.
Why you need bone grafting?
As mentioned, tooth loss and long-time wearing of dentures can lead to bone loss over time so it is ideal to have your dentist make precautionary measures by performing a simple bone grafting procedure immediately after the tooth has been extracted to maintain the height of the bone for any dental restorations that you might have in the future.
Maintaining the level of bone mass in the jaw is important in maintaining your facial bone structure. Your jaw together with your facial bones play an important role in supporting the skin and muscles that is responsible for your cosmetic appearance. Without the proper support that it needs your face may appear aged and you may look older than you actually are.
Click here to read more about a Bone Grafting patient case study.