Improve Your Candidacy for Dental Implants with Bone Grafting
Bone grafting, also known as ridge augmentation, is sometimes needed before placing a dental implant, if there has been a loss of bone density caused by tooth loss or extraction. A bone graft can replenish bone that has shrunk or become too soft to support dental implants. Our skilled dentists can select an adequate bone grafting technique for your needs and perform the entire surgery onsite at our Fairfax, VA, dental practice.
What Happens after Tooth Loss?
Whether you lose one tooth or multiple teeth, jawbone loss begins 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 extracted by your dentist.
What Is Bone Grafting?
Bone grafting is a surgical procedure used to restore bone size and density in the jaw after tooth loss. There are a variety of different bone graft materials and techniques available to meet your specific needs. Bone grafting can take place immediately following a tooth extraction to prevent bone loss. Most often, a bone graft is performed at a later date for patients wanting to receive dental implants.
Our dentists are trained in the latest bone graft techniques, which will ensure you achieve the best possible results.
Our office uses the advanced VATECH i3D digital x-ray system to accurately view and diagnose your bone density. This allows us to determine the bone graft type you will need and how much graft is necessary. Our dentists are trained in the latest bone graft techniques, which will ensure you achieve the best possible results.
Why Is Bone Grafting Necessary?
Dental implants need a specific amount of bone for support. If bone loss has occurred, the jawbone cannot properly support the implants. To provide adequate support, we may recommend bone grafting. This procedure will rebuild the lost bone, and once healed, the restored bone can support dental implants. A bone graft will also help support the facial tissues that may have collapsed as a result of bone loss.
Healing after Bone Grafting
The recovery phase after bone grafting is critical to the success of 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. It can take between six and nine months to fully heal after bone grafting. 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 can perform 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 one-on-one consultation. 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.