Bone Grafting for Implants
Do I Have Enough Bone?
After tooth extraction, if the walls of the socket are very thick, they will usually fill naturally with bone in two to three months. However, when the walls of your socket are very thin (such as in your upper and lower front teeth), this type of healing will not be as predictable. In these situations, a bone graft (site preservation grafting) 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.
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 has collapsed. In this case, a bone graft can often be placed to reconstruct the foundation. After the graft has fused to your pre-existing bone (typically 6 months), implants can often be placed. Most bone graft procedures can be done comfortably as an office procedure. Many different bone-grafting materials are available, including your own bone.
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 is a concern when teeth in the back of a person’s upper jaw have been removed , and the amount of bone available for implant placement is limited. A “sinus lift grafting procedure” is then required. Most often, it is performed in the office under 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 can sometime be performed at the time of implant placement.