Sometimes when a tooth is lost, the jawbone at the site thins out, leaving an inadequate amount of bone in which to place dental implants. At Park Smiles NYC, we have the ability to regenerate high quality bone wherever needed through various bone grafting techniques.
Bone grafting is a common in-office procedure that ultimately allows us to place implants of the appropriate length and width to secure your replacement teeth. It also gives us a chance to restore aesthetic appearance.
Additional Benefits of Bone Grafting
- Bone grafts ensure the restoration and maintenance of facial bone structures to keep you from developing other dental diseases and problems. One such issue arises after tooth loss. Missing teeth can cause the alveolar bones (the bones that hold your teeth) to atrophy or waste away. It’s important to note that alveolar bone atrophy usually occurs within the first three years of tooth loss or tooth extraction. This leads to a deformity which can prevent you from chewing your food the right way, speaking properly, muscle dysfunctions and even pain in your mouth. If you wait too long before you correct the problem, you may have insufficient bone or soft tissues to support your new teeth.
- Bone grafting may highly improve the appearance and usefulness of implants, dentures and crowns that are needed, since these procedures need a sturdy jawbone to anchor on.
- It’s useful in preventing future problems that may arise due to insufficient bone density in your jaws. Grafts done in the anterior region are also helpful in preserving ridge topography, greatly benefiting the appearance of prior-fixed bridgeworks.
- Bone grafting is also used for other purposes and cases such as trauma, misalignment, bacterial infection of the jawbone, tumors and sinus deficiencies.
The Bone Grafting Procedure
After tooth extraction, if the walls of the socket are very thick, they will usually fill naturally with bone in two to three months. However, when the walls of your socket are very thin (such as in your upper and lower front teeth), this type of healing will not be as predictable. In these situations, a bone graft is often placed at the time of tooth extraction to help your body fill in the empty socket with bone. This step will maintain the width and volume of bone you will need for implant placement several months later.
There may be inadequate bone for implant placement if your tooth was removed many years ago and your bony ridge is extremely thin. In this case, a bone graft can be placed next to the thin bone and allowed to heal for up to six months. After the graft has fused to your pre-existing bone, the ridge will be re-entered and the implant placed. Bone grafting is usually a relatively comfortable in-office procedure. Many different bone grafting materials are available, including your own bone. You may also need bone grafting if the sinus cavities in your upper jaw are very large, or very low, and extend into the tooth-bearing areas. This often occurs when teeth in the back of a person’s upper jaw have been removed many years before, and the amount of bone available for implant placement is limited. A “sinus grafting procedure” is then required. Most often, it is performed in our office with local anesthesia and perhaps sedation. During this procedure, the membrane that lines the sinus will be located and elevated. Bone will then be added under the sinus membrane to restore the bone height and ensure that dental implants of an adequate length can be placed. This procedure often can be performed at the time of implant placement.
- Six titanium implants are placed in the jaw in such a way that the bone will envelop and secure them into place.
- The implants that are placed in the back part of the jaw are angulated to achieve maximum advantage to the existing bone structure.
- Once the implants are secure, the abutments will be attached so that the replacement teeth can be fastened and adjusted for maximum comfort and function.