Bone Grafting for Dental Implants: Then and Now

These days, bone grafting is seen as an important procedure in dentistry. It is also known however, that as recently as the 1980s, missing teeth were replaced with removable dentures that helped patients eat and speak but looked fake. Since then, thanks to dental implants and bone grafting procedures in North York dental clinics, developments have meant that even people with weak jawbones can receive realistic-looking replacements.

Why Is Bone Grafting Necessary?

To receive a dental implant, your jawbone needs to be strong enough to hold a titanium post in place. The presence of a working tooth keeps your jawbone strong, but a lost tooth leads to atrophy over time. The more teeth you are missing, the more severe is the jawbone atrophy.

Jawbone Restoration in the Past

In the past, complicated procedures were necessary to restore a jawbone. This could even involve replanting a patient’s rib. Often, such action was necessary to both restore the function of the jawbone and prevent fractures. However, even in these cases, it was impossible to repair the jawbone sufficiently for implants.

Bone Grafting Today

Whenever possible, dentists take action to prevent the need for bone grafting entirely, such as by providing patients with an implant soon after extracting a tooth. In cases where bone grafting is necessary, it tends to be minimal and the procedure takes place at the dental clinic.

Better still, dentists no longer need to take large quantities of the patient’s own bone. Most bone grafts are using bovine (cow) bone. This requires just the sterilized mineral content — the organic material is removed prior to the graft. The bovine bone stops surrounding tissues in the jawbone from collapsing. The graft is combined with guided tissue regeneration, which leads the jawbone to resorb the bovine bone and replace it with native bone.

What to Expect From Your Dental Implant Procedure

Single tooth implants allow your dentist to replace a tooth or fill a gap left by one or more teeth. An implant is required to form a root for the crown. This guide will help you understand what happens during the dental implant procedures, to ensure you feel prepared when you enter the dental clinic.

Dental Implant Surgery

The process from the start of the implant surgery to the time your dentist fits you with a crown can last anywhere from five months to more than one year. It involves receiving surgery two times.

In the first surgery, your dentist will place the implant in your jaw using a plastic surgical guide. After four to five months for implants in the lower jaw and six to seven months for implants in the upper jaw, you will return for your second surgery. This involves uncovering the heads of the implants and placing a collar on top.

After 10 to 14 days, you will go back to the clinic. Your dentist will remove the collar and screw an abutment to the implant along with a temporary crown. You will receive the permanent crown four to six weeks later.

Dental Implant Bone Graft Procedure

If there is insufficient bone to hold the implant in place, you will need bone grafting before the dental implant surgery. Your dentist will insert either actual bone or a material like bone into your jawbone.

In the case you only need to strengthen your jawbone slightly, you will receive a bone graft at the same time as your first surgery. However, if your jawbone is particularly weak, you will need a graft to help regenerate the bone. After such surgery, you will need to wait several months before receiving the dental implant.

What Type of Denture Treatments Are Available in North York?

Modern dentures are convenient, comfortable, and natural-looking. Plus, unlike dentures of the past, there is no risk of them slipping or sliding. There are a few different types of dentures available in North York — the right ones for you will depend on your needs.

Types of Denture Treatment North York

Complete dentures

Complete, or full, dentures fall into two categories: immediate and conventional. Immediate dentures are made in advance and fitted straight after your teeth are removed, meaning there is no need to spend any time without teeth. As your bones and gums may change shape during the healing process, immediate dentures often require adjusting if they are to continue to fit well.

Conventional dentures are an alternative to immediate dentures. They are typically ready between eight to 12 weeks after your dentist removes your teeth. An advantage is that the dentures fit without needing any adjustments.

Partial dentures

If you only need to replace some of your teeth, your dentist may offer partial dentures. These tend to consist of artificial teeth attached to a plastic base or metal framework. Partial dentures can be removable, featuring a clasp that unclips the teeth, or anchored in place with crowns over your natural teeth on either side of the dentures.

Implant-assisted dentures

Implants are an option for those unable to receive complete or partial dentures due to bone loss or an insufficient palate. Some patients prefer this option for the more natural appearance; however, it is more expensive.

Denture Treatment Planning

To prepare for receiving dentures, talk to your dentist about the which option would be most appropriate for your needs. You should also learn how to care for your dentures to ensure they last for a lifetime. Finally, make sure your dentist is experienced in creating dentures, as a poor fit can lead to discomfort, mouth sores, and infection.

5 Things to Keep In Mind Before Dental Implants

Dental implants can be the perfect solution to a missing tooth. Other than restoring your smile, they help you to eat and talk properly and prevent oral health problems. To decide if this would be the right type of treatment for you, there are a few things you need to know about dental implants.

1. The Dental Implants Procedure

The dental implants procedure involves extracting your current tooth, if any remains, and placing a titanium post into the jawbone. This will act as a root for the artificial tooth. Your dentist will create a permanent tooth to fix on the implant.

2. The Quality of Dental Implants

If you need a replacement tooth, your dentist is likely to recommend a dental implant over any other option. This is mainly due to the quality of implants. For one thing, implants are the most natural-looking choice — they are custom-made to match the color of the rest of your teeth and to be the right shape and size. They are also permanently in place, meaning there is no risk of slipping.

3. Maintaining Good Oral Health

Dental implants also lead to better oral health than other options. For instance, the bonding to the jawbone keeps the bone healthy and reduces the risk of bone loss.

4. The Aftercare Requirements

By following the dental care recommendations of your dentist, you can ensure your dental implant lasts a lifetime. Good oral care involves, at a minimum, brushing twice a day and visiting your dentist every six months.

5. Dental Implant Cost

Dental implants are a cost-effective way to replace either a single tooth or several teeth. Other options may cost less initially, but you will end up spending more in the long term for replacements.