When you lose your teeth, something starts to happen under the surface of your gums. Your jawbone begins to weaken. The roots of your teeth stimulate the bone, which tells your body to send the essential nutrients to keep it strong and healthy. Without your teeth, the message is no longer sent, so your jaw receives fewer nutrients. As a result, your jaw changes shape, remaining teeth shift, and your face starts to look aged. Dental implants, the latest in tooth replacement technology, can help to put an end to this deterioration. However, if you have waited too long to get implants, your jaw may not have the necessary bone mass needed to support them. At Implant and Periodontal Wellness Center of Arizona, we can perform a bone graft to restore bone mass, and then successfully place dental implants.
What Is a Bone Graft?
A bone graft is a surgical procedure that involves replacing lost bone mass in your jawbone by taking healthy bone from elsewhere in your body. Alternatively, we may choose to use donor bone or another material. The goal is for the remaining mass in your jawbone to fuse with the new bone mass to restore strength and structure to your jaw. With restored strength, your jaw will be able to successfully support dental implants. Ridge augmentation is a surgical procedure that uses bone graft material to strengthen your jaw by filling weakened sections.
Types of Bone Grafts
There are multiple types of bone graft:
||Autogenous bone grafts. We use your bone, which we usually take from your hip or tibia. By using your bone, there is no risk of rejection. The bone is also living, which promotes new bone growth.
||Allogenic bone grafts. The bone is taken from a donor. It is not living bone. It just fills in space and your jawbone fuses around it.
||Xenogenic bone grafts. Bone is used from another species. It is processed at extremely high temperatures before use, which reduces the risk of rejection or infection.
There are also bone graft substitutes, many of which use of synthetic materials to fill the spaces in your jawbone. These include things like demineralized bone matrix (DBM), graft composites and bone morphogenic proteins (BMPs). During your initial consultation, we will be able to determine which type of bone graft is the best option for you.
How Is a Bone Graft Performed?
Before we get started with your bone graft, we will administer a local anesthetic to the surgical site, or sites, if we are performing an autogenous bone graft. If needed, we offer sedation, which can help your nerves and allow you to relax. For an autogenous bone graft, we start by making an incision at the donor site, whether it’s hip or tibia, and remove the necessary bone mass. Then we make an incision in your gum tissue and pack the bone mass into the areas that require strengthening. Both sites are stitched closed. For any other type of bone graft, you will only have the one surgical site.
After your procedure, we will send you home with a set of instructions, telling you what you can expect, things to avoid and what you can do for common postsurgical issues like pain, swelling, and bleeding. Once you have healed, a process that can take several weeks, we can begin the process for dental implants.
Just because you don’t have sufficient bone mass now for dental implants, that does not mean you are automatically disqualified from being able to receive dental implants. Call Implant and Periodontal Wellness Center of Arizona at (480) 504-0506 to learn more about your bone grafting options today.