If you are considering getting dental implants you are already on the road to restoring your smile. Since dental implants are surgically placed and inserted into the jawbone, one of the questions our Des Moines patients ask is whether or not they will need a bone graft prior to the procedure. We encourage you to visit our dental office for an examination and X-rays so that we can answer this question based on your health. You can schedule an appointment by calling (206) 408-8541. In the meantime, here are some answers to frequently asked questions about the bone graft procedure.
What is bone augmentation?
Bone augmentation can be performed multiple ways but the purpose of the procedure is to augment or build bone so that your jawbone becomes denser and stronger.
Why does the jawbone lose density in the first place?
This is typically due to resorption. Within the first year of tooth loss you can lose up to 25 percent of your bone density in that particular area. It only continues from there. That is because teeth and roots provide stimulation to the jawbone and that stimulation is a signal to the brain that your jaw is serving its primary purpose. When teeth fall out, that stimulation is reduced or eliminated completely. As a result, the body begins to leach calcium from the jaw for use elsewhere. If you know that you are going to lose a tooth, do not hesitate to schedule an appointment since there are certain procedures that can prevent or limit the amount of resorption.
Other reasons for a loss of bone density is periodontal (gum) disease, developmental defect, injury or decay and infections. Visiting the dentist on a regular basis for preventative care can help to reduce these risks.
When is bone grafting necessary for dental implants?
If you have lost bone density, your jawbone may no longer be thick enough for an implant. When replacing your teeth with dental implants, a dentist will be surgically placing a small titanium post under your gums and securing it to your jawbone. As such, your jawbone must be dense enough to support the post. Think of it in the same way as if you were building a piece of furniture. The wood you were using would need to be thick enough for the screw. Otherwise, it would not be able to screw in all the way. A bone grafting procedure can increase the density of your jawbone so that the titanium post is a perfect fit.
Whose bone is used for the actual graft?
Your own bone can be used or processed bone may be used. Additionally, there are some newer technologies that may not require bone at all but can work to actually transform cells into bone.
What happens before the procedure?
Images will need to be taken of your bone so that the dentist and surgeon can create a plan for how to augment it. This is typically done using a CT scan. Additionally, you will need to decide whether you want to use processed bone or have bone taken from somewhere else in your body.
Is this a common dental procedure?
Yes, It is often done at the time of extraction to preserve the bone in the area that the tooth was removed.
Schedule an Appointment
The best way to find out if you need a bone grafting procedure is to call 206-408-8541 and schedule an appointment with our dental office. At Des Moines Dental Center, we can take X-rays and let you know if your bone is lacking in density. We can then make a recommendation for treatment and let you know if you need to see a specialist.
Helpful Related Links
- American Dental Association (ADA). Glossary of Dental Terms. 2015
- American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry® (AACD). Home Page. 2015
- WebMD. WebMD’s Oral Care Guide. 2015
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