Losing teeth often leads to lost jawbone density, particularly if the teeth have been missing for several years. Dental implants are recognized as the best restorative option, but require a strong, healthy jawbone. To counter the effects of long-term tooth loss, Drs. Steven Katz, Sultan Salem, and Dilmarys Peña offer bone grafting surgery at our Long Island, New York, practice. By boosting jawbone density before implant placement, we can significantly improve your chances of success. Contact our office today to schedule a consultation and learn whether bone grafting is right for you.
The Purpose of Bone Grafting
The body distributes its resources as evenly as possible, so the minerals and nutrients that build bone density are only directed to the jaw if there are teeth and roots stimulating the area. Once teeth are extracted or fall out, this stimulation no longer exists. As a result, the jawbone loses density over time.
Bone grafting is a preparatory procedure performed before dental implant placement that builds up bone density in weakened jaws. In order for a dental implant to succeed, a patient needs sufficient jawbone tissue to fuse with the artificial root. Otherwise, the root is not stable enough to support a restoration.
To perform a graft, tissue is harvested from elsewhere in a patient’s body, such as the chin, hip, or shin, or from a donor or synthetic source. After it has been placed, the graft fuses with the bone in the treatment area and encourages further growth.
What to Expect During the Procedure
The specifics of the bone grafting procedure are determined by how many implants you need and where the bone graft is harvested from. Depending on where the graft is harvested from, you will receive either intravenous (IV) sedation or general anesthesia, as well as a local anesthetic at the donor site. Once you are fully relaxed and comfortable, a small piece of bone will be removed. A small incision will be made in the gums in the area where the graft will be placed.
Oftentimes, our doctors can combine bone grafting with a tooth extraction. This prevents bone loss and keeps the site healthy if or when a patient decides on dental implants.
Once the graft is firmly anchored into place, a thin membrane will be placed over it for protection and the incision in the gums will be sutured closed. If the graft is successful, there will typically be enough bone to support implants within four to nine months after surgery.
Oftentimes, our doctors can perform bone grafting immediately following a tooth extraction. This prevents bone loss and keeps the site healthy if or when a patient decides to receive dental implants.
The best candidates for bone grafting are patients interested in implants who lack sufficient jawbone density to support them. However, certain health factors can put a patient at risk. Smoking and medical conditions such as diabetes interfere with healing, which often substantially decrease chances of success. Your dentist will conduct a thorough consultation and examination to determine the best course of treatment for your particular case.
Contact Us Today
Our entire team strives to ensure patients achieve the very best possible results for their dental implant treatment. Reach out to us today to learn more about the bone grafting procedure.