Sufficient jawbone tissue is imperative for creating a firm foundation for implant-supported restorations, such as dentures, bridges, or crowns. If you have a weak jawbone following tooth loss, bone grafting surgery can augment the jaw and restore your eligibility for dental implant treatment. Although this procedure will add additional healing time to the overall dental implant timeline, bone grafting can help promote healthy tissue growth and ensure you achieve a successful outcome. One or our skilled and highly experienced prosthodontists at Boston Prosthodontics Dental Group in Boston, MA can perform bone grafting as an outpatient procedure in our state-of-the-art facility.
What is Bone Grafting?
The loss of jawbone tissue is a natural process after losing teeth, which is why it is important to meet with a prosthodontist as soon as tooth loss occurs to create a plan for replacing your teeth. The longer tooth loss goes unaddressed, the weaker the soft and hard tissues within your mouth will become. Along with gum and jawbone degeneration, patients with missing teeth can experience damage to their remaining teeth, discomfort when eating or chewing, structural changes to their face, and other oral health concerns.
During a bone grafting procedure, your prosthodontist can harvest bone tissue from another area of your body, such as the hip, chin, or tibia, and insert it into your jawbone. Bone can also be taken from a donor, or in other cases, synthetically harvested. This prerequisite procedure can help ensure that your implants successfully fuse with your jawbone.
Types of Bone Grafting Procedures
During your initial consultation, you will undergo a series of tests including x-rays and 3-D scans of your jaw to determine the extent of damage and the type of bone grafting procedure necessary. This imaging will help your prosthodontist create a customized treatment plan formatted to meet your unique needs. At Boston Prosthodontics Dental Group, we provide a range of bone grafting methods, including:
- An alveolar ridge preservation graft or “Socket Graft”
The alveolar ridge is the hard tissue that surrounds tooth roots. This is often the first to weaken after a tooth is extracted. For patients with bone loss within the socket of the missing tooth, your prosthodontist will make an incision on top of the gums and insert the harvested bone tissue inside the tooth socket to build up the alveolar ridge to the appropriate level. Once you have healed—a process that typically takes approximately two to three months—your prosthodontist can place the implants.
- An autogenous ramus/chin graft or “Block Bone Graft”
In cases where bone loss extends further out from the socket, a significant amount of bone tissue will be needed to rebuild the jawbone. For this procedure, your prosthodontist can harvest a block of bone tissue from your chin, make an incision into your gums, and insert it into the affected area. Before closing the incision with dissolvable sutures, he will stabilize the grafted bone to your jawbone with small screws to promote healthy bone growth. In approximately four to six months, the screws will be removed and implants placed.
If you have a weak jawbone following tooth loss, bone grafting surgery can augment the jaw and restore your eligibility for dental implant treatment.
- A subantral graft or “Sinus Lift Procedure”
This procedure is beneficial for patients with inadequate spacing or insufficient bone tissue in their upper jaw. For this procedure, your doctor can harvest tissue from another area of your body or from a donor, make an incision into the side of your gums, and insert the grafted tissue between your jawbone and sinus membrane. Healing generally takes about four to six months, and once you have fully recovered, the implants can be securely placed without fear of obstructing your sinuses.
Restore Your Candidacy for Dental Implants
Bone grafting provides patients who may not ordinarily qualify for dental implants the opportunity to receive a customized implant-supported restoration to restore their smiles. If you have been told that you do not qualify for dental implants because of insufficient jawbone support, call Boston Prosthodontics Dental Group at (617) 523-5451 to inquire about our bone grafting procedures. You can also contact our office online to schedule your consultation.