For people with missing teeth, dental implants and dentures are a fantastic restoration option. They can help you smile and eat without feeling or looking like you lost any of them at all. However, for some people, their dental replacements seem to have a poor fit for their gums. Furthermore, other people do not have enough bone density to hold dental implants in place. Others may have missing bones because of physical trauma or developmental problems. Whenever that is the case, we at John A. Lindsay and Daniel R. Noorthoek Periodontics and Implantology can help remedy this issue through the aid of a bone grafting procedure.
Why You May Need Bone Grafting
A little-known fact about teeth is that gums are not the only things that keep them in place. A layer of bone and membrane, called the alveolar process, keeps the teeth where they are by acting as a socket for the teeth’s roots. When a tooth has been removed, either by natural means or through an extraction, the bone tissues of the alveolar process shrink and get reabsorbed by the body. This then shrinks the alveolar process and, subsequently, the gums. When you place a bridge over a shrunk alveolar process, you may notice that the gums have started to recede to the point that you will find a gap between the gums and the bridge.
Bone grafts can increase the density of this structure, and they can help perk up the gums to help them look healthier under your dental bridge. Dental implants are also placed on the alveolar process. Without much bone tissue in the alveolar process, the implants may fail and further break down the bone tissue, that is if they were even dense enough to have implants placed.
How Bone Grafting is Performed
There are a few different kinds of bone grafting procedures. However, each of them works in a comparable manner. Bone tissue, called bone grafts, are placed along the bony regions of the alveolar process. Each procedure changes the shape of the ridge-shaped alveolar process and allows dental implants to be placed.
A common procedure is called the socket graft. This is done right after an extraction to prevent the alveolar process from shrinking. A bone graft is placed directly where the tooth used to be. This is used as a base for dentures once the bone graft has settled into the bony layer.
Meanwhile, other procedures may be more labor-intensive. Sinus lifts and lateral ridge preservation are both more comprehensive surgical techniques. In each procedure, a layer of bone graft is surgically added to the bony layer in order to increase bone density.
Lastly, the mandibular block bone grafting procedure is done on patients with largely deformed jaws. We usually do this on patients whose faces may have been damaged by physical trauma or developmental disorders. The name comes from the fact that we transplant a block of bone tissue into the deformed jaw.
The kind of bone grafting procedure we use, however, always depends on a case-by-case basis. Each one has its own purpose, and some people may not even need it at all. If you or someone you know needs dental implants, please reach out to us at John A. Lindsay and Daniel R. Noorthoek Periodontics and Implantology by calling us at (561) 997-4080 today.
Our Convenient Location
John A. Lindsay and Daniel R. Noorthoek Periodontics and Implantology
2600 N. Military Trail Suite 310 Boca Raton, FL 33431-6315
Mon - Thu: 8:00am - 5:00pm
Friday: Emergencies and By Appointment Only