Patients who have been missing a tooth or several teeth for a long time might need a bone grafting procedure. When a tooth is lost and not replaced, the jaw bone begins to deteriorate, or atrophy, making it nearly impossible to perform some tooth replacement procedures, such as dental implant placement. If there is not enough bone present for the implant to attach itself to the jaw, the implant may be too unstable to support the tooth crown and is more likely to have future complications. Many bone grafting procedures can be performed, and the treatment will depend on each patient’s individual case and oral needs.
We can get bone graft material from a variety of sources. In most cases, the bone graft can be obtained from a tissue bank, or a mineral bone substitute can be used. In other cases, we can take it from another area inside your mouth around the third molar in the upper or lower jaw, or from the chin. For a very large defect or reconstruction, the bone may be harvested from the hip or other locations.
Three primary bone grafting treatments can be performed, including
- Socket Preservation. This is a small bone graft that is used to fill an empty tooth socket after a tooth is lost or extracted. The bone graft material is fairly simple to place, and the procedure does not involve an extensive recovery period. The bone graft combines with your natural bone after the procedure and will provide a strong, healthy site for dental implant placement.
- Sinus Lift Procedure. Everyone has maxillary sinuses above their upper back teeth. These sinuses are hollow cavities, and the bone that separates the mouth from the sinus is often very thin. Since there is not enough bone present, replacing teeth in the upper jaw with dental implants can be very difficult. To solve this, the oral surgeon enters the sinus cavity, gently lifts the delicate sinus membrane, and places a bone graft under the membrane. The graft will integrate with the bone in the jaw over several months. The dental implants can be placed once the graft has healed.
- Ridge Expansion. In a more complex form of bone grafting, the oral surgeon surgically splits the bony ridge of the jaw and inserts bone graft material into the space that is created. This is necessary when the alveolar ridge bone (the bone surrounding and supporting teeth) begins to deteriorate or lose density due to natural breakdown. A ridge expansion is performed to widen or heighten the jaw to increase the bone density and place the dental implants.
Where can I get bone grafting in Salt Lake County?
Utah Facial & Oral Surgery in South Jordan, UT, offers various oral surgical procedures and treatments, including bone grafting. Dr. Christopher Price serves the entire Salt Lake Valley.