In most cases, gum disease is the primary symptom that decays teeth and causes the need for restorations such as dental implants. However, gum disease can also cause so much damage to the teeth and jawbone underneath, that dental implants are no longer an option. At a general dentist, this might be the end of the line for your dental implant hopes. However, an oral surgeon can improve your candidacy for dental implants through a process known as a bone graft. Take a look at what you can expect from having a bone graft in Ocala, FL.
Making Sure a Bone Graft Is Necessary
Even if you’ve lost all your teeth and have noticed your cheeks starting to sink inward, a sign of jawbone loss, you still may not need a bone graft in order to support your dental implants.
During your initial consultation, your dentist will take 3D images of your mouth, including your jawbone. The 3D images will help your dentist determine if your jawbone has enough surface area and density to support dental implants. And if there isn’t enough jawbone, your dentist will determine if a bone graft will help.
How a Bone Graft Works
When there isn’t enough jawbone left to support dental implants long-term, a bone graft can: (a) provide additional bone mass to hold the implants firmly in place and (b) they can even help regenerate bone in some cases.
When a bone graft is required, your dentist will lift your gums after giving you a dose of a local anesthetic to numb the pain. From there, a piece of natural or synthetic bone will be placed in the area where you’ll need more support for the implants.
Over the course of a few months, usually at least four, the bone will begin to fuse together and may even generate new bone in the area. And after the graft has healed, you’ll be able to move forward with your dental implant procedure with full confidence in their durability and stability.
Different Types of Bone Grafts
- Socket preservation is a bone grafting procedure our dentist completes after tooth extraction. This involves packing bone graft material into the empty tooth socket. Socket preservation slows the resorption process where the tooth is missing. It can also help preserve the health of the bone until a dental implant can be placed.
- Ridge augmentation refers to a bone grafting procedure that restores the natural density and contours of part or the entirety of a jaw ridge. Restoring healthy bone levels to a jaw arch can make dentures more comfortable and fitted to your gumline.
- When bone in the premolar or molar areas of the jaw has lost density or volume, you may benefit from receiving a sinus lift. Gently lifting the sinus cavity, bone grafting material can be placed to restore proper bone height.
More on Getting a Bone Graft in Gainesville, FL
These are the very basics, but there is a lot of other information available for dental implants and treatments associated with it. When you are ready to learn more, contact our dental implant specialist, Dr. Nick Brand, in our office in our office in Ocala, FL to schedule an appointment today!