Our goal at Advanced Family Dentistry is to help you keep your natural teeth as long as possible. However, when that isn’t an option, we look to the next best thing—replacing teeth with oral implants that look, feel and function just like your natural teeth.
Success of a tooth implant relies on the quality of the supporting jawbone, and sometimes we need to perform an oral bone graft to strengthen the area into which the implant will be placed.
What is an Oral Bone Graft?
In an oral bone graft, your dental surgeon will either take a small section of bone from another area in your body, or use, in a more common practice, a bone grafting material. This bone grafting material is placed onto the jawbone, where it will attach and grow to create new, strong bone over a couple of months. This gives the oral surgeon a solid and stable base into which the implant can be installed.
Depending on your particular bone loss, your oral bone graft procedure may be minor or major. Your dental surgeon will determine how much bone is needed. After the bone has healed and grown, and the oral surgeon determines that there is sufficient bone growth to support the implant, he or she will proceed with the implant surgery.
In most cases, the patient will be put to sleep during the oral bone graft surgery. If minor, a local anesthesia may be used to numb the area.
Why Do I Need a Bone Graft?
Having healthy teeth aids in keeping your jawbone healthy because as you eat, the roots in your teeth stimulate the jawbone. When you lose a tooth, your jaw can quickly lose bone—up to 25% over the first year after you lose a tooth.
Periodontal disease is another reason that your jawbone can lose bone density, along with infection, injury or decay.
Getting a dental implant quickly after loss of a tooth can reduce or eliminate the need for an oral bone graft altogether. However, if the jaw has deteriorated enough as not to be provide enough support, your oral surgeon may recommend a bone graft.
Types of Oral Bone Grafts
The two common types of oral bone grafts are the Alveolar Ridge Preservation Graft or “socket graft,” and the Autogenous Ramus/Chin Grant, also known as the “block bone graft” or sinus augmentation procedure. In this procedure, bone grafts are placed in the sinus cavity to bolster the jawbone.
How Does a Dental Implant Work with the Jawbone?
A dental implant is composed of a small titanium post that is screwed into the jawbone to replicate a stable root of a tooth. On top of the post is a metal abutment, or cap, for the implant fixture. This is what holds the tooth-resembling crown that will be installed to complete your dental implant.
Oral Surgery at Advanced Family Dentistry, Reston, VA
Dr. Sonny Kim specializes in the various types of oral surgery, including oral bone grafts for implants and bone restoration. When you need serious dental care such as oral surgery, or ongoing dental care for your entire family, trust Advanced Family Dentistry. We have the experience, reputation and qualifications required for comprehensive dental care all in one office. Contact us today to schedule your dental appointment.
Dr. Sonny Kim is a Diplomat of the International Congress of Oral Implantologists (ICOI), the highest education level for general dentists in this field.