In order to have a successful dental implant, you must have a sufficient amount of bone in the jawbone to support the implant or implants. If the bone under the gum is not wide, dense or long enough, then a bone graft may have to be performed before a dental implant is placed.
A bone graft is a procedure that enhances the bone tissue in the jaw to ensure there is a strong foundation upon which to successfully anchor dental implants. Grafts can vary in complication from simply enhancing the bone alongside one implant to making important deviations to the figure, dimensions and magnitude of the entire dental ridge.
Bone loss can be occur as a result of decay, swelling, shock or from periodontal disease. Over time, bone deterioration accelerates, so individuals who have been missing teeth for a long period of time tend to require more extensive bone grafting procedures that someone who has recently had a tooth extracted.
The materials used for bone grafts can be found from a variety of sources, including your own bone, a human cadaver bone, animal bone or synthetic bone substitute. Bone grafts sourced from your own bone tends to be the safest and most effective source of graft material. This is because it can easily be integrated into your existing bone without any risk of an infection or contamination, and it is not likely that your natural tissue will reject the graft material.
Usually, the bone graft material is taken from one’s chin area or jaw; however, you can also opt for the shin or hip bone to be used instead. Some of the disadvantages of using bone from the hip or shin is that you will have to undergo two forms of surgeries.
A human cadaver bone or animal bone tissue can also be used for dental bone grafts. Animal bone tissue is typically sourced from either cows or horses, are sterilized and safe for use in human bone tissue. The graft material naturally absorbs well in the body and these bone grafts pose little risk of infection as long as the bone is sterilized properly.
Lastly, a synthetic mineral bone can also be used for your dental bone graft procedure. Synthetic bone graft material has been known to be less effective as the body absorbs this material more slowly than the alternatives, but it may be a good option for some depending on their circumstance.
If you have been told that you are not a candidate for dental implants because you have insufficient bone left in the jaw, bone grafting procedures can help you augment the jawbone to sufficient levels to get the dental implants you need and restore your smile. Contact our office today to see what bone grafting options are available to you and to schedule a consultation with us.