Who is a Suitable Candidate for Bone Grafting?
Missing teeth can cause a variety of oral health complications, including misalignment, bite problems, and an increased risk of losing the remaining teeth. Most of these issues can be prevented with the use of dentures, bridges, or other standard tooth replacement solutions. But one dental issue that bridges, dentures, and false teeth can’t prevent or correct is jawbone loss. When missing teeth are not replaced, it doesn’t take long for the jawbone to begin to atrophy. And when that happens, it can cause further tooth loss and eventually the collapse of the facial structure.
Dental implants are the only tooth-replacement solution that helps to prevent jawbone loss. But if you’ve already experienced jawbone deterioration, you may not have enough bone to support the implants. Fortunately, bone grafting makes it possible to build up new jawbone volume or density. But who’s a good candidate for bone grafting, and how exactly does it work? Read on for more information.
Who is a suitable candidate for bone grafting?
Candidates for bone grafting are typically in the process of replacing their missing tooth or teeth with dental implants but need to first build up the jawbone to support them. A bone graft can help build up a healthy jawbone to provide a strong foundation for the implants, but the procedure may not be suitable for everyone. The best candidate for a bone graft is:
- A non-smoker
- In good oral health
- Free of gum disease
- Able to undergo anesthetic
The bone graft stimulates the natural growth and strength of the jawbone and can also be used to build up a section of the jaw whether or not implants will be placed. The bone graft can help prevent further deterioration and related dental issues.
When is bone grafting necessary?
Missing teeth are not the only dental issue that can result in jawbone deterioration. Periodontal disease can result in bacteria eating away at the jawbone and connective tissues. Dental trauma, bruxism, and teeth clenching can result in excess wear on the tissue supporting the tooth structure. Whatever caused the bone to deteriorate, bone grafting will be necessary prior to the placement of dental implants. The procedure must be done several months before the dental implants are inserted because the jaw needs time to grow and strengthen around the grafting material called also bone regeneration. If the implants are placed too soon, the graft may not be solid enough to hold them. If they are placed too late, the body may begin to reabsorb the grafting material. Timing is crucial.
What happens during a bone grafting procedure?
During the bone grafting procedure, an incision is made in the gums and the grafting material is carefully placed in the treatment area. It is then covered with a collagen membrane for optimum bone repair, and the incision site is closed with sutures. The bone graft healing process takes approximately three months, though it could be more depending on the patient. Once the bone tissue has healed, the implants can be placed.
Need a bone graft? Give Smile Designers a call!
If you’re considering dental implants to replace one or more missing teeth but you have insufficient bone volume or density, you might be a good candidate for bone grafting. The experts at Smile Designers can answer your questions and help you understand your options for restoring your jawbone health and your full, healthy smile. Give us a call at (619) 222-6000 to schedule a consultation today.