Tooth loss can cause the jaw bone to diminish because the root of a natural tooth must be present to stimulate the bone and keep it healthy. Other causes of bone loss can be inadequate bone structure due to previous extractions, gum disease, or injuries. Regardless of the cause, bone loss can make the successful placement of dental implants difficult or impossible. Fortunately, advancements in medical science have allowed us the ability to grow bone where it is needed, which has opened the option of dental implants to more patients. The bone utilized in bone grafting techniques for oral surgery can be obtained from a tissue bank, or your own bone is taken from another part of your body. If you are having dental implants placed and are suffering from bone loss in your jaw, you may be a candidate for having bone tissue grafted into the implant area to ensure stable and permanent placement.
Our Abbotsford, BC, practice is proud to offer the full scope of oral surgery procedures, including various bone grafting procedures. While many patients find they require a bone grafting procedure for the successful placement of dental implants, bone grafts can also be used in the treatment of other oral and maxillofacial conditions that we address at Abbotsford Oral Surgery and Dental Implant Centre.
Types of Bone Grafting Procedures
Bone grafting is a common first step for dental implant patients. In bone grafting procedures, a solution of granulated bone material or other healing agents will be applied in the areas of your jaw that need to be reinforced, stimulating new, healthy bone growth at the site of future dental implant placement. At Abbotsford Oral Surgery and Dental Implant Centre, we perform several types of bone grafting treatments to meet the individual needs of our patients. We also offer soft tissue grafting to treat periodontal disease and gum recession and to help stop bone loss and further recession of the gums.
Some of the grafting procedures we offer include
- Ridge Augmentation. The alveolar ridge bone is the bone that surrounds and supports the teeth. If this bone is not healthy or dense enough to support dental implants, Dr. Esmail may recommend a ridge augmentation. During ridge augmentation, the alveolar ridge is surgically split, and bone graft material is placed to stimulate bone growth.
- Sinus Lift. If there is not enough bone present between the upper jaw and the sinus cavity for successful dental implant placement, your oral surgeon may recommend a sinus lift procedure. For this procedure, a bone graft is placed in the jaw below the sinus membrane. This graft integrates over several months to create a more solid foundation for an implant.
- Socket preservation. Oral and maxillofacial surgeons can perform a special bone grafting procedure called socket preservation that protects the area of the jaw where a dental implant will eventually be placed. This procedure minimizes the bone loss that occurs after an extraction. To complete a socket preservation procedure, after the tooth has been extracted, your oral surgeon fills the tooth socket with bone grafting material. When the grafted site has healed, a dental implant is placed to restore the missing tooth. Sometimes your surgeon will place the dental implant at the same time the graft is placed, allowing you to enjoy your new smile faster.
- Soft Tissue Grafting. If a patient is suffering from periodontal disease and gum recession, a soft tissue graft may be recommended so that the gum line is uniform around a dental implant for a more natural appearance. For this procedure, soft tissue grafts (small pieces of oral tissue harvested from other areas of the mouth) will be surgically implanted in the affected area. There are more than just aesthetic improvements from this procedure. Soft tissue grafts can help stop bone loss and additional recession of the gums and can reduce root sensitivity.
- Nerve Repositioning. The nerve that gives feeling to the lower lip and chin is called the inferior alveolar nerve. If this nerve is susceptible to damage during a dental implant procedure, the nerve must be accessed through the jaw bone and then repositioned. Bone grafting material is added to the area after a nerve repositioning procedure. Nerve repositioning carries some risk as there is almost always some numbness of the lower lip and jaw area after the surgery. This typically dissipates, but it may be permanent. Most of the time, other options are considered first. Nerve repositioning surgeries are performed under IV sedation or general anesthesia.
Bone grafting can repair implant sites with inadequate bone structure so that more patients can restore their smile with dental implants — and once the restoration site has healed, the new dental implant will help maintain the jaw bone over time. Because each bone grafting option has its own risks and benefits, Dr. Esmail will evaluate your case with extreme care to determine which type of bone grafting technique is best suited to your needs. Dr. Esmail is extensively trained to provide the full scope of bone grafting procedures to ensure that your replacement tooth or teeth will look, feel, and function just like natural, healthy teeth.
Bone Morphogenetic Proteins
Sometimes, bone grafting techniques utilize synthetic materials as a substitute for real bone, which eliminates the need to source bone from other graft sites on your body or use banked bone. These materials are safe and proven alternatives and include bone morphogenetic proteins, or BMPs, which we use in our practice. BMPs are proteins that are naturally produced in the body for creating new cartilage and bone. This material can be used to increase the jaw bone support required for durable dental implant placement. During BMP treatment, a protein solution is added to a sponge-like material that is placed over the area of bone in need of treatment to stimulate and support bone growth. After the new bone has finished growing into the graft area, your jaw bone will be ready to support your new dental implant.
Bone Grafting in Abbotsford, BC
Bone grafting can offer a stable foundation of healthy bone for the long-term stability of your dental implants. If you have any questions or would like to schedule a consultation, please contact Abbotsford Oral Surgery and Dental Implant Centre. Dr. Esmail will be happy to discuss your bone grafting options with you during your consultation and will develop a treatment plan for you based on your unique needs.