Bone Grafting for Implants
Do I have enough bone for dental implants?
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 placed at the time of tooth extraction to help your body fill in the empty socket with bone. This step will better maintain the width and volume of bone you will need at the time of implant placement approximately four months later.
1. Inadequate Bone
2. Graft Material Placed
3. Implants Placed
There may be inadequate bone for implant placement if your tooth was removed many years ago and your bony ridge is thin. In this case, a bone graft (ridge augmentation) can be performed and allowed to heal for up to six months. After the graft has had time to mature, the implant can be placed. Bone grafting is usually a relatively comfortable office procedure. Many different bone-grafting materials are available, including your own bone.
1. Inadequate Bone
2. Graft Material and Implant Placed
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 the office with both IV sedation and local anesthesia. During this procedure, the membrane that lines the sinus will be located and elevated. Bone will then be added to increase the bone height and ensure that dental implants of an adequate length can be placed. This procedure may be performed at the time of implant placement when only minor deficiencies are present.