There are many things that we have to look at when deciding a patient’s candidacy for dental implants. One of these, and arguably the most important of these, is their bone density. If you have an insufficient bone density, we may need to lengthen your process a little bit. Here at Dallas Prosthodontics, we want you to walk out of here looking and feeling your best. Drs. Castellon and Buskin can help you throughout your dental implant process, and any prerequisites you may find yourself dealing with, such as bone grafting.
What is Bone Grafting?
When we are treating patients who suffer from bone loss, it is essential that we rebuild the bone in that problem area before we can offer treatment options like dental implants. Bone grafting is a way to rebuild the bone structure in a diminished area and to spur on continuing growth. This gives the gap area where a tooth used to be the strength to hold a new tooth without sustaining further damage.
Why do I Need a Graft?
A graft is a solution when a patient has experienced profound bone loss in their upper or lower jaws. There are a wide variety of reasons that bone loss may have occurred. For many our patients, it is because, without a tooth, there is nothing in the area stimulating the jaw as they chew. In fact, traditional dentures can act as catalysts to this damage as they sit above the surface of the gums and do not do anything to benefit the bone beneath. Bone loss can also come from periodontal disease, which, if left untreated, can lead to both bone and tooth loss.
Dietary problems, such as non-nutritious meals or low-calcium foods, can lead to the same result, and it can all be catalyzed also by smoking. Smoking can also inhibit recovery from oral procedures such as bone grafting or dental implants, so we advise you not to during treatment. Certain medications can also make bone loss more prominent.
How Do I Get a Bone Graft?
The bone grafting procedure is relatively straightforward. One thing you will have to do is decide what kind of bone you would like in the area. The options include your bone (taken either from your mouth, hip, or leg, depending on what size you need), cadaver bone (human or bovine options are available), or a synthetic bone. All of these have different merits, and all are great options. Once you have decided your source (we can help guide you), we can begin.
You will be administered an anesthetic first and foremost, to ensure you do not feel a thing. From there, we will start by making an incision in the area where the graft is required. At this point, we will be able to decide how much bone we need and take it from the donor site. This will be laid over the surface of the bone that is preexisting. We will secure it there with tiny titanium screws before laying a layer of material down over that to enhance the healing process and allow you to be back on your feet quicker than ever. We can then stitch up your gums, and you will be well on your way.
To find out more about the tools or process that we use, be sure to give our team leaders Drs. Castellon and Buskin a call here at Dallas Prosthodontics today. We would be more than happy to help you find any answers you need in order to feel more confident in your upcoming procedure.