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Bone Grafting in Milwaukee, WI

Increase your jaw bone in Milwaukee

What is Dental Bone Grafting?

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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.

Dental Bone Grafting Types

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.

Who is an Ideal Candidate for Bone Grafting?

If you'll be getting dental implants to replace damaged or missing teeth and you do not have enough bone density or volume to hold the titanium posts (Implants), you can benefit from a bone graft. Your dentist will carefully examine your jawbone and gums to determine how to proceed, with the goal of achieving the best possible results for tooth replacement. While bone grafting treatment is most often associated with the dental implant procedure, that is not the only time when a dentist may recommend augmenting the jawbone. You need a healthy jawbone structure throughout your lifetime, and this can be affected by tooth loss of any kind, including extractions. Even if your treatment plan involves a dental bridge after tooth extraction, it is wise to have conservative bone grafting done after the tooth is removed.

When a dentist wants to see if you have enough bone for a dental implant, they will order a CAT scan or CBCT x-ray. These x-rays allow the dentist to measure the density of the bone or HU Houndsfield Units to see if the bone is like styrofoam, pine, or oak as this makes a difference in the type of implant used and the healing time. The CBCT X-RAY will allow the dentist to virtually place implants and evaluate the height and width of your bone to further discuss your need for bone grafting. So whether it is a single tooth, an arch or a full mouth we will evaluate your implant needs with x-rays to pick the best options available for you. We will show you your CBCT X-RAY and review the plan with you before we begin. If you need grafting there is always a possibility you will need more grafting if the amount we achieve is insufficient. The ability for an implant to withstand the forces of chewing require the best sized implants for your particular mouth. So we will show you your photographs and CAT scan so you are aware of what your require.

How Long Does the Bone Grafting Procedure Take?

The length of your bone grafting procedure will depend on the type of graft you'll receive and the amount of bone that needs to be grafted. Generally, the process can take anywhere from about half an hour to 90 minutes. During your consultation and examination, your dentist will determine the degree of bone augmentation you'll need to adequately restore your proper height and width of bone for the intended goal. If that is only to ensure that your bone tissue does not degrade much after tooth extraction, it may take just a few minutes to insert tiny granules of bone tissue into the socket. If the goal is to restore proper size of bone after significant bone resorption, your dentist may prepare you to be in the office for a few hours. You'll know well in advance of your procedure so you can plan accordingly! Some bone grafting will involve a softer diet and avoidance of the area for several months so the new bone can grow without any pressure on it.

How Soon After Bone Grafting can I Receive Dental Implants?

It takes approximately four months for the bone material to integrate and stimulate new bone growth to the point where an implant post can be inserted. Once the new bone is strong enough, the small titanium post can be inserted. The post is covered by gum tissue and that, too, is left to heal for about four months. This allows the bone to grow around the implant and stabilize it to withstand the force of chewing. After the implant post is stable, an abutment (or chimney) is screwed to the implant and a crown or bridge can be fabricated. If bone is added to the sinus area, healing may take 7-9 months. If blocks of bone are added or the amount of grafting is extensive it can also take 6-9 months prior to placing implants. Everyone's bone and biology is  bit different so Dr. Winter or his associates will let you know the best healing period after the procedure when they can see how dense the bone is and how long it may need to properly heal.

How Can I Prepare for My Bone Grafting Procedure?

You shouldn't need to do much to prepare for your bone grafting procedure. If you are a candidate for this procedure, your dentist will need to be informed regarding all medications and supplements you take. You may need to alter these to some extent to prevent unnecessary bleeding risks. Depending on your health history, you may need to take antibiotics for a short time before undergoing bone grafting. You can expect to be fully informed about any steps that are recommended to help you feel comfortable during your bone grafting treatment. We ask our patients to stop all smoking 2 weeks prior to any implant or grafting procedure and encourage our patients to see their physician for smoking cessation therapy. Smoking decreases success of grafting and implants and quitting will help us to achieve a better success.

What is the Recovery Like After Bone Grafting?

You will receive aftercare instructions to help you recover well from your bone grafting treatment. It is important to follow your instructions carefully. These will include guidelines about eating (start with soft foods), drinking (NO straws), and oral care. You can expect to feel sore or tender after your procedure. You may be given a prescription for pain medication to reduce pain. If your bone graft is minor, an over-the-counter pain reliever may suffice. The area of your mouth that has been treated will also swell. This usually begins the day after the procedure and continues for up to one week. Initially, you may be advised to apply cold compresses to the cheek to help with the swelling. After a few days, you might switch to warm compresses. These instructions will be clearly outlined in your aftercare packet. And if you have questions, please don't hesitate to call the office. We're here to help you recover well!

Are there any Risks from Bone Grafting?

The bone grafting procedure sounds much more involved than it actually is. There are a few risks involved. These include bleeding, infection, and nerve damage. Our team has considerable experience performing bone grafts, dental implants, and other minor oral surgeries. We take care with every step of the restoration process, knowing that our precision will pay off in the form of a functional, beautiful and radiant smile.

Why do 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.

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