Preparing for Dental Implants
At the Center for Advanced Dentistry, we understand that patients may not always meet the requirements to undergo a dental implant procedure. We want all our patients to have the opportunity to enjoy the long-lasting benefits of dental implants, which is why we’re proud to offer various supplemental procedures to prepare their teeth for successful dental implant placement.
Dr. Andrew Howard can help restore your ability to receive an implant through the use of a bone graft. Explore your options and learn which procedure may be best for you by reading our helpful guide.
When are Supplemental Procedures Necessary?
Dental implants are secured to the jawbone, so having a sufficient amount of bone density is essential for this procedure to succeed. Dr. Howard will likely recommend one of these procedures to patients who’ve experienced bone loss or lack the required bone density for an implant. These procedures help patients become better candidates for dental implants and ensure a successful placement.
Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, is one reason patients may need a bone graft. This disease erodes the jawbone over time, and may even cause teeth to fall out. Patients with this condition have a poor chance of a successful implant procedure. After treating the disease, bone grafting may help restore the jawbone and prepare the mouth for a dental implant.
Bone Grafting Procedures
A bone graft (or regenerative surgery) is used to recreate bone and soft supporting tissues lost due to gum disease or previous loss of teeth. The goal of bone grafting is to encourage the body to rebuild the bone and other structures that attach a tooth to the jaw.
Over the next few months, the grafted material will be converted by your body to your own natural bone. This new bone can then support dental implants which will be used to replace missing teeth.
At the Center for Advanced Dentistry, some of our bone grafting procedures include:
Socket grafts are placed at the time of the tooth extraction to preserve the size and shape of the existing bone. Without the graft, normal healing processes may cause the bone in the area to shrink.
Often, this occurrence prevents the placement of an implant with the correct size and shape. Bone shrinkage can also affect the stability of the adjacent teeth. The graft material is usually a donor graft material that is completely safe and sanitary.
Sinus Lift / Sinus Augmentation
A sinus lift is often needed when upper molars are missing. The maxillary sinus is a large air-filled space that can enlarge when upper back teeth are lost, which limits the amount of bone available to place implants.
A sinus lift procedure makes a small window into the sinus from the mouth, adding bone to the area. This results in the regrowth of the bone and improved sinus anatomy. In many instances, the implants can be placed at the same appointment as the sinus lift.
A common use of bone grafting is for ridge augmentation. Ridge augmentation can recapture the natural contour of your gums and jaw after the loss of a tooth as a result of trauma, congenital anomalies, infection, or periodontal disease. Achieving an ideal amount of gum and bone structure may require hard and soft tissue reconstruction.
After losing one or more teeth, your gums and jawbone may become indented where the tooth or teeth used to be. The jawbone recedes when it no longer is holding a tooth in place. Not only is this indentation unnatural looking, but it also causes the replacement tooth to appear unnatural compared to the adjacent teeth. This creates an area that is difficult to keep clean.
Ridge augmentation uses bone and tissue-grafting procedures to fill in the indented area of the jaw and gums, leaving you with a smooth gum line that coexists with your restoration or dental implant for a more natural appearance.
Frequently Asked Questions
After undergoing a bone graft, you’ll need to wait for the surgical site to heal before Dr. Howard can perform a dental implant procedure. The healing time for bone grafts is typically two weeks to two months depending on a number of oral health factors and which bone graft is used. Dr. Howard will provide you with an estimated procedure timeline at your initial consultation.
Not at all! Dr. Howard will administer a local anesthetic to eliminate any pain during the procedure. Patients may feel some mild discomfort for five to seven days after the bone grafting.
While this pain will fade in time, Dr. Howard will prescribe you antibiotics, steroids, and anti-inflammatory medication to help manage the pain. A cold compress can also help alleviate any swelling or discomfort.
It’s best to wait until the local anesthetic has worn off before you eat to avoid accidentally biting your tongue and cheeks. During the first 24 hours after the procedure, it’s recommended that you stick with liquid foods, such as yogurt, broth, and applesauce. Crunchy, spicy, or hard foods may irritate the surgical site and lead to complications.
Schedule Your Preliminary Procedure
If you’ve been told you can’t receive dental implants, a supplemental procedure like bone grafting may be the solution for you. Contact us today at (970) 669-3918 to schedule an appointment at our Loveland office. You can also fill out an online contact form and a team member will get back to you shortly.