When a tooth is lost and not replaced, the jaw bone begins to deteriorate, making it very difficult to perform some tooth replacement procedures, such as dental implant placement. If there isn’t enough bone present for the implant to attach itself to the jaw, the implant is often not stable enough to support the tooth crown, and future complications are likely. It is common for patients who have been missing a tooth or teeth for an extended length of time to need a bone grafting procedure. There are many different procedures that can be performed, so the treatment that you receive will depend on your individual case and oral needs.
Bone graft material can be acquired from a variety of sources. If it’s possible to use your own bone, it will likely be taken from another area inside the mouth around the third molar in the upper or lower jaw. In some cases, bone from your chin, hip, or tibia may be used. If you are not a candidate to use your own bone for a bone graft, the material can be obtained from a tissue bank, or a mineral bone substitute can be used.
In this procedure, small bone grafts are placed to fill an empty tooth socket after a tooth has been lost or extracted. The placement of this bone graft is fairly simple and usually does not involve an extensive recovery period. The bone graft integrates with your natural jaw bone for several weeks after the procedure and will provide a strong anchor for a dental implant.
Sinus Lift Procedure
Everyone has maxillary sinuses behind their cheeks and above their upper teeth. These sinuses are empty, and the bone that separates the mouth from the sinus is usually very thin. Without enough bone present to support dental implants, it is often very difficult to replace a lost tooth in the upper jaw. To solve this problem, the surgical team at Gainesville Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery can perform a sinus lift procedure in which the oral surgeon enters into the sinus cavity and lifts up the sinus membrane. A bone graft is placed below the membrane, which will fuse over several months with the bone in the upper jaw. Once the bone graft has integrated, dental implants can be placed.
A more complex form of bone grafting called a ridge expansion may be necessary when the alveolar ridge bone, a special type of bone surrounding and supporting teeth, begins to deteriorate or lose density due to natural breakdown. During a ridge expansion, the bony ridge of the jaw is split surgically, and bone graft material is inserted into the space made. This procedure is performed to widen or heighten the jaw to increase the bone density for implant placement.
The inferior alveolar nerve, which runs along the lower jaw bone and gives sensation to the lower lip and chin, must sometimes be repositioned for dental implants to be placed. This is not an issue unless the implant will be placed in the area of the molars or second premolar. During this procedure, a section of the lower jaw bone is removed to expose the nerve and slightly move it aside. Once the dental implant is placed, the nerve is released to its original position, and a bone graft is placed to refill the jaw area removed. This is a very aggressive approach; therefore, other surgical options are often considered before taking this route.
Where can I get bone grafting for dental implants near Gainesville, GA?
Oral and maxillofacial surgeon, Dr. Fred Simonton, is a specialist in providing solutions for complex oral and dental health problems, including bone grafting procedures to prepare the mouth for dental implant placement. With two office locations in Gainesville and Watkinsville, GA, Dr. Simonton and his staff serve a wide region, including cities in Georgia as well as cities in South Carolina and North Carolina.