Bone grafting is a routine procedure performed by oral and maxillofacial surgeons in preparation for dental implant placement.
Dental implants require a solid foundation of bone tissue for proper support. But after a tooth is lost or extracted, the jawbone begins to degenerate. Placing a bone graft, made of natural or synthetic materials, works to rebuild the necessary jawbone density for tooth implant stability.
Oral and maxillofacial surgeons commonly employ one of four bone grafting techniques to prepare patients for dental implants.
The jawbone starts to lose density soon after tooth extraction. Additionally, the socket may have damage due to disease or infection. The socket preservation technique involves placing bone grafting material at the extraction site to ready it for future dental implant placement.
Maxillary Sinus Lift
The maxillary sinuses are empty pockets just above the upper jaw. Some tooth roots extend up into this space, and after extraction, only a thin wall of bone remains, which isn’t enough to support tooth implants. Oral and maxillofacial surgeons use the sinus lift procedure to address this issue, placing bone graft tissue between the jawbone and the sinus membrane.
Ridge augmentation is similar to socket preservation, as the technique bulks up the bone at the site of a lost or extracted tooth to prepare for dental implants. The difference? Ridge augmentation addresses significant bone loss that affects the height or width of the alveolar ridge. This type of bone grafting is often necessary when teeth have been missing for months or years, but it can also be effective immediately after tooth extraction.
In some cases, the inferior alveolar nerve interferes with tooth implant placement in the lower jaw. During a nerve repositioning procedure, the oral surgeon relocates the nerve. Bone grafting material is then used to ensure sufficient jawbone support for tooth implants. As this is considered an aggressive treatment, other options — such as the placement of blade implants — may be recommended instead.
If you’re planning to get dental implants and you live in the greater Salt Lake City area, make an appointment with either Dr. Partridge or Dr. Maxfield at Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery of Utah.
As specialists in dental implant surgery, our highly skilled oral and maxillofacial surgeons complete bone grafting procedures every day. We’re committed to compassionate care, and we want every patient to have a positive experience.
To schedule a consultation to discuss dental implants and bone grafting with the Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery of Utah team, contact our Cottonwood Heights, South Jordan or Tooele office today.