Dental Implants and Bone Grafting Procedures
A dentist may recommend dental implants because of tooth loss to help prevent future tooth loss. But in some cases, the bond underneath the gum cannot support teeth. Maybe it’s too thin, too short or too narrow. In these cases you’ll need bone grafting, or bone augmentation, to build up the bone before you can get implants.
What is bone grafting?
Bone grafting is the term used to describe this process of building up jaw bones in order to enable them to structurally hold implants. The dental professional will either graft real bone to the jawbone, or use materials with qualities of bone to build up the jaw. Once the grafting has been successful implants can be placed. However, it can take several months for the bone graft to take.
What are implants?
After the bone graft is deemed successful the implants will be surgically inserted. The oral surgeon will cut the gum open to expose the jawbone. They will then drill a hole into the bone in order to insert a metal post which will eventually hold the prosthetic tooth in place. The post is inserted deep in the bone. While the gums and tissue around the post heal, there will still be an empty spot. Sometimes dentists offer a temporary denture just for cosmetic purposes. After the implant post has been placed and has healed, the gums will be lightly cut again to place the abutment, or tooth on the post and allowed to heal.