At Aesthetic Periodontal and Implant Specialists, we help to restore your smile when you are suffering from gum disease and tooth loss. And one of the latest advancements in tooth restoration technology is dental implants. Implants are small, titanium rods, which we surgically place into your jawbone. As they heal, the bone grows around the rods, fusing with them. This provides a strong, stable support for false teeth. Implants can be made to replace any number of teeth, from one to an entire arch, the number of implants determined by your specific needs. However, to be a candidate for implants, you must first have sufficient bone mass. When you suffer tooth loss, you bone begins to weaken. If you wait too long before getting implants, you may not have sufficient bone mass to successfully support them. Fortunately, we offer a bone grafting procedure that can help to strengthen the bone and provide the support necessary for your implants to work.
How is Bone Mass Lost?
Your teeth play many important roles. One job many don’t know about is to keep your jawbone strong. When you chew, the roots of your teeth stimulate the bone, which sends messages throughout the body that nutrients are required. Without teeth, even just a few, that stimulation is lost. Less stimulation means the body begins to think that fewer nutrients are needed, and instead sends them elsewhere. As a result, your jawbone becomes weaker, eventually changing shape. This not only makes you look older but can affect the healthy teeth you do have left.
What is a Bone Graft?
A bone graft is a surgical procedure that involves taking healthy bone from elsewhere in your body and placing in the areas of your jaw that are weak. This means that you will have two surgical sites, but since your bone is used, there is no risk of rejection. Alternatively, bone can also be taken from another donor. Your specific needs will dictate where the required bone mass is taken from.
Types of Bone Grafts
There are several types of bone grafts:
||Autogenous. The necessary bone mass is retrieved from your body, usually your hip or tibia. This type of graft also has the advantage of using living bone, which will help to stimulate new growth.
||Allogeneic. Bone mass is taken from another donor. This bone simply fills a space.
||Xenogeneic. The bone is taken from another species. Before use, it is processed at very high temperatures, which is done to help significantly reduce the risk of infection and rejection.
These are only a few of the many types of bone grafting procedures. We will perform a thorough exam and discuss which options are best for your specific needs.
Bone Grafting Procedure
On the day of your surgery, you will first receive a local anesthetic to numb the area (as well as the area where the bone is being taken from). We can also give you a sedative if necessary, to help you relax if you are feeling particularly nervous or anxious. Incisions are made, and the donor's bone is harvested. That bone is then packed into the areas of your jaw that are in need of strengthening. We may also apply platelet rich plasma, which will help the site to heal faster. Finally, the wounds are stitched closed. After you have healed from your bone graft procedure, you can then go for your dental implants.
If your jawbone is too weak initially to be considered for dental implants, don’t despair. Ask Aesthetic Periodontal and Implant Specialists about our bone grafting procedure today at (210) 614-4700!