How Bone Grafts Support Dental Implants

There are a number of factors that come into play when we determine the best treatment options for patients that require dental implants. One of the major factors that we consider is the amount and health of the bone in your jaw, particularly around the area in which we’ll place the implant. It is not uncommon for bones to deteriorate when patients lose a tooth. If the bone around the dental implant is structurally insufficient, we’ll perform a bone graft in order to provide the implant with the support it needs to stay in place over time. There are various types of bone grafts that we can perform:

  • Sinus Lifts — This procedure is undertaken when the bone barrier between your teeth and the maxillary sinuses, located behind your cheeks and above your upper teeth, is too thin.
  • Ridge Expansion — This is a technique used to restore the lost bone dimension when the jaw ridge, located between the upper teeth and the hard palette, becomes too thin to receive conventional implants.
  • Nerve Repositioning — In some cases, the nerve which provides feeling to your lower lip and chin may need to be moved to allow for the placement of an implant in the lower jaw.

Here’s an overview of how the bone grafting procedure works:

1. We gather the bone for grafting from a tissue bank or from an area of your own body, such as the chin, hip or tibia.

2. The holes in your bone are filled with the grafting tissue. 

3. A special membrane is placed over the graft to protect the graft and encourage bone growth. 

4. Once the graft is in place, the gums are stitched back over the graft and covered with a periodontal bandage. The graft is ready to take hold. 

According to the Mayo Clinic, 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.

If you have any lingering questions about bone grafts or dental implants, or if you would like to schedule a dental exam, please contact our team or make an appointment. Our incredible staff will give you the best dental care possible.

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