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What Options Do You Have to Regenerate Bone for Dental Implants?

Sep 26, 2022 | Dental Implants

What Options Do You Have to Regenerate Bone for Dental Implants?

Dental implants and other restorative procedures depend on the jawbone being sufficiently strong and thick.

Unfortunately, bone loss is a common problem in the jaw, especially for people who have lived with missing teeth for a number of years. Patients thinking about dental implants often assume that bone grafting procedures, which can result in a lengthy healing process before implants can be placed, are the only alternative. This article will discuss bone loss, bone grafting, and alternate procedures that may be a better option for you.

The lack of proper bone density impacts the chances for a successful dental implant outcome because the jawbone serves as the foundation of your oral structure.

Bone Grafting in Support of Dental Implants

This is the most common step in periodontal surgical procedures and is used to increase the volume of ridge to support a dental implant. It is also used to repair defects in ridges and to restore tooth strength. In short, bone grafting adds volume and density to your jaw in areas where bone loss has occurred. Bone grafting can also serve to stimulate the growth of new bone and as the bone grows, it replaces the bone graft.

“Implants need to be firmly anchored to the jawbone to function well in the long term,” says Dr. David Mugford of the Mugford Center for Periodontics and Dental Implants. “Bone grafting can strengthen and thicken the implant area. It lays the groundwork for a beautiful and functional smile again.”

To perform bone grafting, our periodontist can use your own bone, bone from a tissue bank or synthetic materials. In some cases, it is preferable to use the tissue bank as a source, to avoid additional surgery to the mouth.

This is an excellent way to regenerate bone that has shrunk and become too thin to support a dental implant. The regeneration process can take a few months. Then you will be ready for the implant.

The Benefits of Bone Grafting

Bone grafting involves the cleaning and eliminating of bacteria present under the gum line. This can help reduce the depth of the pockets between your teeth and gums caused by periodontal disease. Our periodontist can also recommend using proteins that stimulate the regeneration of bone and dental tissue.

“Bone grafting is a safe outpatient procedure that lasts only an hour or two,” notes Dr. Mugford. “We use it to build up new bone in the area of your jaw that used to hold teeth. A small incision is made in your gum to expose the bone beneath it, and then grafting material is added.”

Most often, the grafting material is processed bone that serves as a scaffold, around which your body will actually deposit new bone cells. The grafting material will eventually be absorbed by your body and replaced by your own new bone.

Types of Bone Grafts

There are a variety of sources of bone grafting material used for augmenting bone for dental implants, including:

  • Autograft: This involves taking bone from one site in your body and moving it to another. This is the only type of bone graft that involves creating two surgical sites: the one from which the bone is harvested and the one where it is deposited.
  • Allograft: This refers to laboratory-processed human bone from a deceased donor that comes from a tissue bank.
  • Xenograft: This bone grafting material comes from an animal — usually a cow.
  • Alloplast: This type of graft uses synthetic (man-made) materials.

The Zygomatic Implant Option

For patients who are not candidates for bone grafting, there is the option of Zygomatic implants which are longer than traditional implants and are embedded in the zygoma (cheekbone) rather than the jawbone. The zygoma is dense and usually thick enough to act as a foundation for the implant.

Implants placed in the zygoma have a higher success rate than implants placed in grafted bone. Zygomatic implant placement, although not for single tooth implants, is one of the most safe and effective procedures in oral surgery.

Get More Information

When you come in for your consultation, we will go over all the details if this is the treatment recommended for you. We offer flexible scheduling options and can assist with your dental implant and bone grafting questions. Please call us today to get started! Call The Mugford Center for Periodontics & Dental Implants today at (410) 260-0790.