When a patient loses one or more of their teeth, dental implants are often installed as the first step towards replacing the missing teeth, but when a patient has a jawbone that is too weak or too thin to properly support dental implants, it may be necessary to conduct a bone grafting procedure.
Bone grafting involves supplementing the existing jawbone with additional bone material. This is done to add to the overall strength of the jawbone so it will be able to properly support dental implants. After the procedure is finished, the graft will encourage new bone growth and the jawbone can continue to strengthen.
Early bone grafting procedures involved harvesting a bone from a separate part of the body. Thanks to advances in technology, this step can be skipped, and an artificial bone-like material can be used in its place. Not all bone grafting treatments are the same, and it may be possible to install dental implants at the same time as the bone grafting procedure. In other cases, it may be necessary to wait for the jawbone to strengthen and heal before the implants can be safely installed. This healing process can take several months in severe cases.
The best way to prevent the need for a bone graft is to keep the jawbone healthy and strong at all times. This can be accomplished by preventing tooth loss with good oral hygiene practices. In the event that tooth loss does happen, the missing teeth should be replaced as quickly as possible. This is because a jawbone without teeth to support will naturally weaken over time due to atrophy. In other words, the longer a patient waits to replace lost teeth, the more likely they are to require a bone grafting procedure.
If you require a bone graft to install dental implants and you would like to learn more about the treatment, please contact us to set up a consultation. You may call us at (734) 441-0200 to schedule an appointment.