Bone Grafting for Implants

Why Do I Need a Bone Graft?

For some people, bone loss after tooth extraction leaves them without bone enough to secure a dental implant. Advanced Oral Surgery can place a bone graft to augment your own bone and is one of the most experienced providers of bone grafting in San Antonio and the Hill Country.

  1. In some situations, the bone graft can be placed at the same time as implant
    placement.
  2. If bone loss is significant, a bone graft may be placed and allowed to heal for up
    to 6 months. After the graft has fused to your pre-existing bone, the implant is
    placed.
  3. Bone grafts are sometimes placed at the time of tooth extraction to help your body
    fill in the empty socket with bone. This maintains the width and volume of bone
    you will need for implant placement several months later.
  4. In the upper jaw above the back teeth, it is possible to increase the height of bone
    available by creating new bone in the sinus. This procedure is called a ‘sinus
    augmentation.’

What are the benefits to you? Although bone grafting increases the time, effort, and expense of your implant treatment, it generally leads to better long-term results. When used in the front of the mouth, bone grafting results in better aesthetics. Bone grafting is usually a relatively comfortable office procedure.

Where Do You Get Extra Bone From?

Many different bone grafting materials are available, including your own bone.

Your bone can be harvested from a number of places – usually from behind the back teeth in the lower jaw or from the chin. When you use your own bone to create new bone in another area of the mouth, there will be discomfort at the donor site as well as the grafting site. Many people feel that the additional discomfort is well worth it, as your own bone is normally considered the ‘gold standard.’

Alternatives to Your Own Bone for Grafting

Other grafting materials are derived from bovine (cow) or porcine (pig) sources or synthetic materials that have been specially prepared to make them safe for use in humans. It is common for surgeons to use a combination of these materials and your own bone.

All of these materials, including your own bone, serve as a scaffold into which your own new bone will grow in order to be ready to receive dental implants a few months later.

The surgeon may also place a ‘barrier membrane’ over the grafting site to block out the fast-growing cells of your mouth’s soft tissues, allowing the slower-growing bone cells the time they need to grow into the grafting site. Most barrier membranes are resorbable and will disappear naturally over a few months.

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