What is Bone Grafting?
Dental implants do more than serve as a realistic and functional tooth replacement; they help stabilize the jaw and preserve the health of the jaw bone just like natural teeth. They require strong, healthy jaw bone to be placed. If the jaw bone has suffered from atrophy or for other reasons and has resulted in soft or thin bone, a bone graft can be used to strengthen and improve bone growth to the jaw.
For a bone graft procedure, Dr. Curtis will take a section of bone from another area of the body or use a special grafting material and graft it into your jaw bone. Once the graft is placed, you will have to wait a few months for it to stabilize and fuse with your jaw bone. When your jaw bone is strong enough, then you are ready to receive a successful dental implant now that your jaw is healthy and stable enough to support it.
We offer a variety of bone grafting treatments to better tailor our practice to the individualized needs of our patients:
- Major Bone Grafting. For this procedure, bone is obtained either from a tissue bank or your jaw, hip, skull, or tibia. This type of treatment is performed to repair jaw defects, which could be a result of traumatic injuries, tumor surgery, or congenital defects. Major bone grafts can repair large bone defects and are performed in an operating room, requiring a hospital stay.
- Socket Preservation. After a tooth is extracted, the empty socket is filled with bone grafting material to preserve the bone site for a future implant.
- Sinus Lift. The sinuses above the upper jaw bone are filled with air. If the upper jaw bone has receded, the sinus membrane will be lifted, and the space underneath it will be filled with grafting material. This bulks and stabilizes the area for future upper implants.
- Ridge Augmentation. Similar to socket preservation, ridge augmentation fills the site of an extracted tooth. However, in these instances, bone loss has already occurred because the extraction was done a long time ago and the empty gap needs to be resized.
- Nerve Repositioning. The inferior alveolar nerve gives feeling to the bottom lip and chin. Sometimes, this nerve must be relocated prior to a jaw implant. When the nerve is moved, the pockets left behind are filled with bone grafting material to help prepare for a future dental implant.