Dental implants are successful, only if there is enough bone to support it in the jawbone.
There may not be enough bone in the jaw
- Due to tooth loss from periodontal (gum) disease,
- After injury or trauma,
- In developmental defects or
- In people with jaw which is too short (up and down), too narrow (side to side) or both
Bone augmentation is a procedure in which the jaw bone is built up by bone grafting (with bone or bonelike materials) so that dental implants can be placed. The grafted material fuses with the jaw bone in a few months. Your dentist after examining you will decide the procedure that can be used for bone augmentation based on the type, location and number of implants to be used. Implant is usually placed 6 to 12 months after the bone-augmentation procedure.
Where Does the Bone Come From
In most bone-augmentation procedures bone grafts are used and your own bone is considered as the best material for augmentation. Bone is mostly taken from the chin or ramus (the back part of your lower jaw). Bone from hip or shin bone (tibia) may be used if needed. Bone material made from bone of human cadavers or cows can be used if required. Your dentist will discuss the options available for you before the procedure.
A Typical Bone-Augmentation Procedure
Bone augmentation procedure for a tooth can be done in your dentist’s office. Before the surgery you may be given antibiotics and pain relieving medication. The surgery is usually done under local anesthesia, but you may be given sedation if required. Local anesthesia is given both at the area where the bone augmentation is needed (recipient site) and the area from where bone will be taken (donor site). Bone is taken for the donor area and placed in the area that needs bone augmentation.
After the surgery you will be prescribed antibiotics, pain medication and an antibacterial mouthwash. Follow the instructions give by your dentist regarding medications, food (such as avoid certain foods), oral hygiene and how to avoid pressure on the area while it heals. You will have to avoid wearing denture till the area heals. Bone graft takes about 6 to 12 months to heal. The implant is usually placed 6 to 12 months after the bone-augmentation procedure.
Building Up Bone for Several Implants
If you need several implants then the bone is usually taken from hip, shin or another site as more bone-graft material is needed than if a single implant is being placed. This procedure is usually done in a hospital under general anesthesia, and requires an overnight stay. Time needed for surgery will depend on the number of area where you need bone grafting.
Success of Bone Grafting
Success rate of bone grafts done for dental implants is very good. But like any other surgical procedure there is always a chance of failure after bone grafting. Cause of bone grafting failure include infection, smoking, certain medications or if the grafted bone wasn't stabilized properly. However bone grafts are not rejected like other organ transplants.
Other Types of Bone-Augmentation Procedures
Besides bone grafting, other types of procedures that are done to build bone so that implants can be placed are
- Sinus lift: In this bone-augmentation procedure the height of your upper jaw is increased by filling part of your maxillary sinus for placing implants in the upper jaw.
- Ridge expansion: This done if your jaw is not wide enough to support implants.
- Distraction osteogenesis: A new procedure that is done to make t...
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