If you have missing teeth dental implants are an option to restore your smile. Many people find dental implants to be the answer to replacing one or more teeth, but if you don’t have enough healthy bone in your jaw you may need to have a bone graft performed before you receive a dental implant. Sometimes your jawbone is too soft or thin for an implant to be successful. In these cases the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons recommend a bone graft procedure to strengthen your jawbone and create a secure base for a dental implant for tooth replacement.
Dental implants act as roots for replacement teeth. The implant is surgically inserted into the jawbone. Your doctor then lets the gums heal and the implant grows into your jawbone. Once it is healed a post is then inserted and left to heal. After about six months a new tooth is placed onto the post and you have a brand new tooth which looks and feels like your natural teeth. If your gums and bones stay healthy implants will last for many decades.
Bone Graft Procedure
Your doctor may use a special bone grafting material, or use bone from another part of your body, and graft it onto your jawbone. Your doctor may use bone from your chin or back of your mouth. Your doctor may also use bone from your hip. Bone may also be used from human cadavers or cows. A new synthetic material (bone morphogenetic protein-2 BMP-2), is also available for bone grafts. BMP-2 stimulates cells in your body to turn into bone. This dental material is produced by DNA technology and the protein occurs naturally in the body.
Once the graft is surgically placed you must wait for it to heal before an implant is placed. In some cases, the implant may be placed at the same time as the graft, but only if you need a minor bone graft. Your doctor will decide how to proceed depending on your case. A bone graft gives your doctor a strong enough jaw to proceed with the dental implant, and once it is healed the rest of the implant procedure can move forward.
If you have missing teeth, but your jawbone is too thin or soft, a bone graft can give you a strong and stable base for a dental implant. Call or contact Live Oak Family Dental today and ask about your options for restoring your smile. We have two locations to serve you! Westlake TX and Leander TX. Call us and schedule an appointment now!