What Happens If I Require Bone Grafting for My Dental Implants?

For the majority of clients, bone grafting is not typically required. Dr. Harrell and his highly qualified team will thoroughly evaluate your oral health and conduct a full pre-operative exam to determine if you are a candidate. When individuals do not have enough jawbone to handle a dental implant, their bone structure needs to be augmented through a process called grafting. The following info from the Mayo Clinic paints a picture of the process to provide clearer understanding:

Dental implant surgery is usually an outpatient surgery performed in stages:

  • Your damaged tooth is removed.
  • Your jawbone is prepared for surgery, a process that may involve bone grafting.
  • After your jawbone heals, your oral surgeon places the dental implant metal post in your jawbone.
  • You go through a healing period that may last several months.
  • Your oral surgeon places the abutment — an extension of the implant metal post — followed by your new artificial tooth (crown).

The entire process can take many months from start to finish — three to nine months and sometimes longer. Much of that time is devoted to healing and waiting for the growth of new bone in your jaw.

When bone grafting is required

If your jawbone isn’t thick enough or is too soft, you may need bone grafting before you can have dental implant surgery. That’s because the powerful chewing action of your mouth exerts great pressure on your bone, and if it can’t support the implant, the surgery likely would fail. A bone graft can create a more solid base for the implant.

With bone grafting, a piece of bone is removed from another part of your jaw or your body — your hip, for example — and transplanted to your jawbone. It may take up to nine months for the transplanted bone to grow enough new bone to support a dental implant. In some cases, you may need only minor bone grafting, which can be done at the same time as the implant surgery. The condition of your jawbone determines how you proceed. See more at the Mayo Clinic website

Bone Grafting: Specialized Surgery Simplified

While it can sound extremely invasive and scary, bone grafting procedures have been perfected over recent years thanks to a variety of improvements with dental and surgical technology. Dr. Robert Harrell and his exceptional team at Harrell Dental Implant Center have years of experience working with patients who require advanced treatment prior to placing their dental implants.

Typical Bone-Augmentation Procedure

In a typical situation, a patient has lost a single tooth and wants to have it replaced with a crown supported by a dental implant. However, the tooth has been missing for several years and there is not enough bone to support the implant.

In this case, bone taken from the patient’s chin or from a cadaver can be used to “rebuild” the lost bone so that it can support an implant. This type of procedure is done in the surgeon’s office under intravenous (IV) sedation. Before the procedure, you will need to have a cone-beam computed tomography (CT) scan. This provides a 3-D image of your bone.

Local anesthesia will be used to numb the area where the bone augmentation is needed (recipient site) as well as the area from where bone will be removed (donor site). An incision (cut) in the gum where the implant will be placed is made to determine how much and what type of bone is needed.

If the bone is taken from the chin, then the surgeon will make a cut in the gum below the lower front teeth to expose the chin bone. A block of bone will be removed from the chin along with any bone marrow. Many dentists fill the spot where the bone was removed with another type of bone-graft material. They may cover this with a thin film of tissue to keep gum tissue from filling the space as it heals. The incision is then closed with stitches.

The block of bone that was removed from the chin will be anchored in place with small titanium screws. A mixture of your bone marrow and some other bone-graft material may then be placed around the edges of bone block. Finally, the surgeon may place a membrane over the graft and close the incision.

After a bone augmentation procedure, you will be given antibiotics, pain medicine and an antibacterial mouthwash. You will be asked to avoid certain foods. You also will be told how to avoid putting pressure on the area while it heals. If you wear a denture, you may not be able to wear it for a month or longer while the area heals. If you have natural teeth near the bone graft, your dentist may make a temporary removable bridge or denture to help protect the area.

The bone graft will take about six to nine months to heal before dental implants can be placed. At that time, the titanium screws used to anchor the bone block in place will be removed before the implant is placed. Info via Colgate

Dr. Harrell is the Charlotte’s best dental implant dentist. He utilizes the very latest, state-of-the-art techniques and equipment to ensure ideal implant outcomes.

To learn more about dental implants and bone grafting, contact Harrell Dental Implant Center today. Call 704-206-1330 or use the contact form on this page to reach us. We look forward to hearing from you.