Your bones make and reabsorb bone constantly. In the mouth, chewing stimulates the new growth of bone and keeps your jaws healthy. But, when teeth are missing, the jaw does not get the message to stimulate new bone the way that it should, and bone loss occurs. Bone loss is commonly caused by tooth loss but can also occur due to periodontal (gum) disease, facial trauma injury, tumor, and more.
Dental implants replace the whole tooth, including its root. They are considered an ideal tooth replacement solution for most patients because they restore the appearance and strength of natural teeth and preserve oral bone health at the same time.
However, a dental implant can only be successful if there is enough bone for the implant to sustain it. For this reason, a patient may have bone loss so severe that a dental implant cannot be placed at that time. But there’s good news! A bone grafting procedure can replace and restore the bone that has been lost and improve the patient’s candidacy to receive a dental implant. In addition to being an important part of dental implant treatment, bone grafting can also be used for other treatments such as facial trauma.
Learn more about bone and soft tissue grafting at our Sonoma, CA, practice, by exploring the stories of some of our bone and soft tissue grafting patients.
Types of Bone Grafting
A bone graft works by applying granulated bone material directly to the desired area(s). The bone material used can be from your own body or sourced from donor tissue.
The type of bone grafting procedure you will receive depends on a few factors, such as the location of the missing bone and your overall treatment plan. Common bone grafting procedures include
- Sinus lifts. For dental implant patients who require an upper jaw implant, a sinus lift may be recommended. In this procedure, bone material is added to the upper jaw and sinus cavity, located just behind the cheekbones.
- Socket preservation. If a tooth needs to be extracted, a bone graft can be performed as soon as the tooth has been removed. This will prevent the loss of bone.
- Ridge expansion. The alveolar ridge surrounds your upper and lower teeth. A bone grafting procedure here can add desired width and/or height to this ridge.
- Major bone grafting. If an extensive amount of bone is missing from facial trauma injury, periodontal disease, a facial tumor, or birth defect, a major bone graft procedure may be necessary.
- Nerve repositioning. A dental implant that requires placement near the alveolar ridge may involve repositioning of the nerve itself to avoid damage. However, this is a high-risk procedure and is considered a last resort.
Soft Tissue Grafts
In addition to having enough bone, successful dental implant placement requires the right quality and quantity of gum tissue. A soft tissue graft can be performed for patients whose gums are not healthy, or there is an insufficient amount. A soft tissue graft will increase the quality and quantity of tissue to surround the dental implant. The soft tissue used for grafting is typically harvested from your mouth but can also be sourced from a tissue bank.
Bone & Soft Tissue Grafting
Many patients can become candidates for dental implants with a bone or soft tissue grafting procedure. Bone and soft tissue grafts can also be a part of a successful facial trauma or tooth extraction treatment. If you have been recommended for a bone or soft tissue graft or need dental implants or any other oral and maxillofacial surgery treatment, please contact Sonoma Valley Oral Surgery & Dental Implants in Sonoma, CA. We will be happy to assist you.