Bone grafting is a procedure that restores parts of the jaw and facial skeleton that are lacking quality or quantity of bone. Missing teeth, traumatic injuries, genetic defects, and other oral health problems can all lead to an insufficient amount of bone in the jaw or face. Your surgeon may recommend a bone graft as a part of a larger treatment plan to replace missing teeth or restore your facial bones after a traumatic injury.
Bone Grafting and Dental Implants
For dental implants to integrate with the bone and provide a secure foundation for the new crown, the bone must have the proper height and width to support the implant post. When a tooth has been missing for an extended period, the bone surrounding the missing tooth site tends to decrease due to lack of stimulation. If this is the case, bone grafting may be necessary to restore the bone and allow for the secure placement of dental implants.
Bone Grafting Procedures
At Greater Michigan Oral Surgeons & Dental Implant Center in Flint, MI, and Saginaw, MI, we offer many different bone grafting treatments to restore the jaw and facial bones. The grafting material is usually obtained from a tissue (bone) bank but can be taken from another area of your jaw or your hip.
Socket Preservation. If you need to have a tooth extracted, your oral surgeon may recommend a bone graft procedure to preserve the width of the bone where the tooth is being removed. Our surgeons may recommend this treatment to preserve the tooth socket if you wish to have a dental implant placed at a later date. Usually, the socket preservation procedure is completed at the time that we extract your tooth.
Ridge Expansion. Some patients lack the amount of bone necessary for successful implant placement. A unique bone grafting procedure called ridge expansion can be performed to increase the height and width of the bone. This distinctive technique recreates the natural contour of your gums and jaw, improving the aesthetics of your mouth and jaw line. Once the graft has healed, the bone will be strong enough and wide enough to support dental implants.
Sinus Lift. The sinuses rest just behind the cheeks and above your upper teeth. When patients need dental implants placed within their upper arch of teeth, sometimes the bone between the jaw and the sinus cavity is too thin to support implant placement. Your oral surgeon can perform a sinus lift procedure (also known as a sinus graft) to correct this problem. During the treatment, your oral surgeon will enter the sinus through the upper jaw and carefully lift the sinus membrane. Bone graft material is then placed in this newly created space to provide adequate bone for the dental implant.
Nerve Repositioning. Sometimes, dental implants are placed in the back of the lower jaw, and the nerve that gives feeling to your chin (the inferior alveolar nerve) needs to be moved to avoid damage. If this is the case, you may need a special procedure called nerve repositioning. During the procedure, your oral surgeon will expose the nerve, then move it slightly to the side to allow for the placement of the implants. Once your surgeon places the dental implants, the nerve is released to its normal position, and a bone graft is placed to cover the exposed area.
At Greater Michigan Oral Surgeons & Dental Implant Center, Drs. Lesneski, Frey, and Kittle are experts in diagnosing and preparing the mouth for dental implant restorations. When you come in for a consultation or surgery, we will ensure that you feel informed and prepared for your procedure. If you are interested in dental implants or bone restoration procedures, we encourage you to contact our offices in Flint, MI, and Saginaw, MI, to schedule an appointment.