For years, patients interested in dental implant-supported tooth replacement needed to meet two main criteria. They had to be healthy enough to successfully complete minor surgery, and they needed to have adequate bone density to anchor the implant.
Unfortunately, one of the main effects of tooth loss is diminished jawbone density, which creates an obstacle for patients interested in implant-supported tooth replacement. At San Antonio Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Associates, Dr. James Mazock and his team offer a solution for those patients with diminished jawbone density: bone grafts.
We offer a number of bone grafting procedures, and are happy to help patients explore their dental implant options during a dental implant consultation. Contact our team to schedule an appointment at our San Antonio practice.
In some cases of tooth loss or extraction, we may recommend a bone graft in order to preserve natural bone density. A small amount of bone taken from another part of the jaw or body, or synthetic bone material, is placed in the empty socket. The placement of a socket-preserving bone graft will not dramatically affect the amount of healing time following tooth loss, and it allows patients to receive dental implants safely and successfully at a later date.
The sinus cavity located behind the cheeks and upper lips means there is naturally less bone structure available for dental implants. For patients who need to replace teeth on the upper arch, a sinus lift is frequently necessary. Adding bone to the space left by the cavity allows patients to support an upper dental implant-supported prosthetic.
The most difficult and invasive form of bone grafting is ridge expansion. This involves the separating of existing jawbone and insertion of a graft into the cavity created, in order to expand the width or height of the bone to support an implant.
In many cases, the alveolar nerve running along the lower jawbone needs to be relocated before an implant can be placed. In some cases, this requires the grafting of additional bone matter to protect the nerve.