There are sometimes cases, mostly found in people who have had dentures for many years, where the bone of the jaw is not thick enough to support dental implants Stockton, in these cases a bone graft surgery will first need to be completed before an implant surgery will be able to take place. Both surgeries are necessary for the integrity of the bone structure in any case and are highly recommended by oral surgeons in order to restore the bone growth to its full potential.
What happened to the bone?
The purpose of the jaw bone is to hold the teeth in place, however, once the teeth have fallen out the body will begin to reabsorb the bone because it is no longer necessary. This bone resorption will dramatically affect the shape of a patient’s face and will make it very difficult to place implants if it has suffered advanced degradation.
What happens at a bone graft surgery?
A bone graft surgery is often done under a general anaesthetic during which we will take a small piece of bone from the patient’s own hip or chin and plant it directly into the key areas of the jaw where the dental implant will eventually be placed. Using the patient’s own natural bone tissue is ideal because their body will not reject it as it would most likely reject animal bone. In the cases where dentists cannot take a patient’s own bone tissue then they will likely use a synthetic replacement as it works just as well.
The surgery itself is straightforward and will not take very long because the main part of it is the healing process. This is where what’s left of the jaw bone is given time to grow around the graft thus creating enough bone to place an implant. This healing process can take 3-6 months after which dentists can assess if there is enough new bone to move forward with implant surgery.
How does dental implant surgery take place?
Once patients receive the go-ahead for implant surgery they can have it done in the practice while still awake, for nervous patients, there is always the option for sedation to keep them comfortable. The dentist will first numb the face before beginning any work then they will open the gum to expose the new bone and drill a small hole into which a titanium implant will be screwed. An abutment is then fixed to the implant and any openings in the gum are closed up once more. Another healing period similar to that of the bone graft is necessary before any false teeth or dentures can be fitted to the abutments, but patients will be given a temporary set of dentures in this time so that they can still enjoy the functionality of their teeth while they wait for a permanent set to be fitted which usually takes about 6 months.
Benefits of a bone graft and implants
Restoring the lost bone not only encourages what’s left of the bone to grow back but an implant will keep that new bone in place for as long as the patient is alive as titanium and human bone tissue work very well together and even if the false teeth themselves need to be replaced once or twice in the patient’s lifetime, the implants will forever be fixed in place and a second surgery will not be required to replace broken teeth.