Bone Grafting for Implants
Do I have enough bone for dental implants?
After tooth extraction, the socket naturally fills in with bone over time. However, you will typically lose about 3mm in height and width of bone in the socket after teeth are extracted. To prevent this loss of bone a bone graft is often placed at the time of tooth extraction to help your body fill in the empty socket with bone. This step will maintain the width and volume of bone you will need for implant placement several months later. A bone graft is necessary in upper back teeth because they are close to the sinus. Without bone grafting the sinus will drop and you may end up needing a sinus lift to accomodate an implant.
1. Inadequate Bone
2. Graft Material Placed
3. Implants Placed
There may be inadequate bone for implant placement if your tooth was removed many years ago and your bony ridge is extremely thin. In this case, a bone graft can be placed next to the thin bone and allowed to heal for up to six months. After the graft has fused to your pre-existing bone, the ridge will be re-entered and the implant placed. Bone grafting is usually a relatively comfortable office procedure. Many different bone-grafting materials are available.
1. Inadequate Bone
2. Graft Material and Implant Placed
You may also need bone grafting if the sinus cavities in your upper jaw are very large, or very low, and extend into the tooth-bearing areas. This often occurs when teeth in the back of a person’s upper jaw have been removed many years before, and the amount of bone available for implant placement is limited. A “sinus grafting procedure” is then required. Most often, it is performed in the office with local anesthesia and perhaps sedation. During this procedure, the membrane that lines the sinus will be located and elevated. Bone will then be added to restore the bone height and ensure that dental implants of an adequate length can be placed. This procedure often can be performed at the time of implant placement.