Bone Grafts & Dental Implants
If you are generally healthy and lose a tooth to trauma, infection, periodontal disease or something else, your dentist may recommend a dental implant to replace the lost tooth.
This artificial tooth root will be surgically placed in your jawbone so a tooth replacement such as a crown can be attached. Once the procedure is complete, your implant will look and feel similar to your natural teeth.
Having said that, if your jawbone is too soft or thin to support a dental implant, you may require bone grafting to help strengthen your jawbone and preserve your oral health. A bone graft may also be required to replace bone that has been lost due to severe gum disease to prevent teeth from becoming loose or falling out.
The Dental Implant Procedure
Dental implant procedures are typically performed in stages, the first of which is extracting the damaged tooth and preparing the jawbone for surgery. If you require a bone graft, your dentist will reinforce your jawbone by adding tissue and restoring areas of deteriorated bone. Additionally, a bone graft can be used to restore the proper contour of the facial area.
A titanium rod is inserted beneath the gum tissue into the jawbone, followed by the gum tissue being stitched back into place. The implant will then begin the process of osseointegration, or bonding with the bone. The implant becomes attached to the gum tissue as the area heals.
During another appointment, the dentist will attach the abutment to the rod, before using a tooth replacement to cap the abutment, leaving you with a functional, natural-looking tooth.
Bone graft material can be obtained from the patient's own body (autogenous), from a human tissue bank (allograft), or an animal tissue bank (animal tissue bank) (xenograft). Occasionally, synthetic material is used (alloplast). After that, the material is implanted into the jawbone.
It may take several months after a bone grafting procedure for the transplanted bone to generate enough new bone to support the placement of a dental implant.
Once the jawbone has healed, your dentist can surgically place the implant into the jawbone. This stage may also take up to several months to heal.
The abutment (a metal extension of the implant's metal post) is then inserted into the jaw. After another period of healing, the dentist will take moulds or impressions of the teeth and jawbone before inserting the tooth replacement.
A Healthier Smile
While bone grafting and dental implant procedures are time-consuming, they can result in healthier teeth and help protect your oral and overall health from the consequences of bone deterioration and tooth loss.