Do You Have Enough Bone for a Dental Implant?
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), healing not as predictable. In these situations, you may not have enough bone to receive a dental implant. When this is the case, a bone graft will be placed at the time of tooth extraction in order to help your body fill in the empty socket. This will maintain the width and volume of bone that you will need for implant placement months later.
Have You Waited Too Long Between Extraction and Implant?
If your tooth was removed many years ago, your bony ridge may be extremely thin, which means that there may be inadequate bone for implant placement. 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 procedure, especially when done by the expert hand of our clinic’s specialists. Many different bone-grafting materials are available, including your own bone.
What Else Can Result in a Need for a Dental Bone Graft?
You may also need a dental bone graft 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 patient’s upper jaw have been removed 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.
For more information about bone grafts for dental implants, call our office in Point Grey BC at 604-336-0958.