Dental Bone Grafting
When teeth are lost, the bone that used to surround them begins to “melt away”. Tooth-supporting bone can also be lost when you have periodontal (gum) disease. Bone grafting, also known as ridge augmentation, is sometimes needed before placing a dental implant. A bone graft can replenish bone that has melted away or become too soft to support dental implants. Our skilled dentists select an adequate bone grafting technique for your dental surgery or implant needs and perform the entire surgery on-site at our Fairfax, VA, dental practice.
What Happens After Tooth Loss?
Whether you lose one tooth or multiple teeth, whether you have experienced tooth loss or underwent a tooth extraction, jawbone loss can begin soon after. When your teeth are intact, the roots attract essential nutrients to the jawbone and gums. These nutrients stimulate growth and keep your jaw and gums healthy. Once a tooth is missing, however, there is nothing to draw those nutrients to that location. The bone and gums begin to resorb, or shrink in size and density. This resorption can happen whether you lost a tooth to decay, had a tooth knocked out, or had a tooth extraction procedure.
What Is Bone Grafting?
There are several options for this kind of dental surgery today. These include obtaining bone from a sterilized human, animal, or synthetic source to replace the missing bone. These options prevent a second surgical site and are just as successful. After this process, it may take several months for the transplanted bone to grow enough new bone to support the actual placement of a dental implant. Bone grafting can take place immediately following a tooth extraction to prevent bone loss.
Set up your appointment at Fairfax Family Dental Care today! We offer Free Consultations Monday – Friday, 8-5 for New Patients!
Why Is Bone Grafting Necessary?
Dental implants require a specific amount of bone for support. If your jawbone isn’t thick enough or is too soft, you may need a bone grafting procedure before you can have dental implant surgery. The act of chewing is very powerful and exerts great pressure on your bone. If your jawbone can’t support the implant, the surgery likely would fail. To provide the needed support, we may recommend bone grafting. This procedure will rebuild the lost bone, and once healed, the restored bone can then support dental implants.
Healing After Bone Grafting
It can take between three and nine months to fully heal after bone grafting. The recovery after bone grafting is critical to the success of your dental implant surgery. To ensure optimal results, we strongly recommend that patients do not smoke, and that they limit their alcohol consumption. Tobacco and alcohol can inhibit bone growth and may cause the bone graft to fail.
You will need to take antibiotics and other medications as directed and avoid certain foods that could irritate the graft site. You may want to eat soft foods while the surgical site heals. While this is a lengthy recovery period, it is the best way to ensure you qualify for dental implants. Once you have completely healed, we will perform your dental implant surgery.
Learn More About Bone Grafting
To learn more about bone grafting and how it might affect your treatment timeline, contact our practice and schedule a free initial consultation Monday through Friday 8-5 for new patients. The dentists at Fairfax Dental can thoroughly examine your teeth, gums, and jawbone to determine if a bone graft is needed and what your treatment timeline will look like. Emergency appointments available at our Fairfax, Virginia office outside of regular office hours.