Bone Grafting Can Reinforce the Jawbone for Dental Implants

Bone grafting is a surgical procedure commonly used to improve a patient’s candidacy for dental implants. As your one-stop-shop for dental implants, H&M Family Dentistry in Aurora, CO, can perform a bone grafting procedure that strengthens the jawbone in preparation for implant placement. Backed by decades of combined dentistry experience, Drs. Hua Gao and Xiaomei Sui can oversee your entire dental implants experience, from bone grafting procedures to long-term implant maintenance.

Why is Bone Grafting Needed?

Patients require a sufficient amount of jawbone mass to anchor dental implants, which are surgically inserted into the jawbone. Bone deficiencies can exist in the lower or upper jaw. A bone graft can boost bone growth in either jaw, but a sinus lift is specially designed to create room beneath the sinus cavity in the upper jaw.

If poor jawbone density is precluding you from receiving dental implants, a bone grafting procedure may improve your candidacy significantly.

The upper or lower jaw may have insufficient jawbone tissue due to jaw trauma or lesion removal, but the most common reason is due to the effects of tooth loss. A tooth root helps to stimulate the surrounding jawbone. When a tooth root is missing for an extended period of time, the jawbone does not receive the necessary nutrients and will begin to atrophy.

In such cases, jawbone deterioration may be extensive enough that the jawbone is too weak to retain dental implants unless a bone graft is performed. Besides serving as a preparatory procedure for dental implants, bone grafting may also be performed to enhance oral function or facial aesthetics, as well as correct bone defects.

Illustration of bone grafting procedure
Bone grafting in the lower jaw, or a sinus lift in the upper jaw, can reinforce the jawbone to provide a sturdy foundation for dental implants.

The Bone Grafting Procedure

Anesthesia will first be administered to numb the area for your comfort. For a ridge augmentation, the doctor will then place grafted bone material into the jawbone. This tissue can be taken from another part of the body, a donor, or made from synthetic material. This procedure may be performed immediately following tooth extraction.

In contrast, a sinus lift will first require lifting the thin layer of membrane that separates the sinus from the jawbone. Once it has been carefully moved upwards, the grafted bone material is then placed into the space between the membrane and the sinus floor to reinforce the upper jawbone.

In some cases, a bone graft can be followed immediately by dental implant placement. However, we typically recommend waiting three to four months to ensure that the procedure was successful before proceeding to the next step of treatment.

Illustration of sinus lift
A sinus lift consists of two parts: raising the sinus membrane to create room for the bone graft and placing the graft in the newly created space. 

Recovery & Aftercare

Like most minor surgeries, patients should expect some swelling and discomfort following a bone graft. Patients can apply ice packs to the side of their face to reduce inflammation and control pain. Medications may also be prescribed to help with discomfort and swelling, as well as congestion. Additionally, to prevent the risk of an infection, antibiotics are usually provided as well.

In the days and weeks following your bone graft procedure, you will be directed to avoid irritating the treatment area. This requires careful and gentle tooth brushing, as well as limiting your diet to soft foods. Most patients can return to work and other regular activities within a week of their procedure.

Learn More about Bone Grafting

If poor jawbone density is precluding you from receiving dental implants, a bone grafting procedure may improve your candidacy significantly. To learn more about bone grafting, schedule your consultation by contacting us online or calling us at (303) 353-9611.

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"My experience was great from beginning to end. Every staff person is super friendly and good at what they do. I haven't had any experience that was overly painful. The hygienists there are able to make you comfortable and relaxed the entire time." Nakita B.

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