After a tooth is lost or extracted, many patients suffer from jawbone atrophy, which can limit their ability to receive dental implants. A natural byproduct of tooth loss, bone degradation can cause bone width to be substantially reduced, even after the first year. At our Staten Island, NY, practice, Drs. Alex Hecht and Jason Hecht can perform a bone graft to replace lost tissue and restore your candidacy for implants, so you can take advantage of this life-changing procedure.
What Causes Jawbone Deterioration?
When healthy teeth perform natural functions, such as chewing, this action stimulates the nerves within the jaw. This keeps the bone dense and healthy, providing a firm foundation for the roots. When teeth are lost or removed, the jawbone no longer receives stimulation and the supporting bone begins to shrink.
Our doctors can perform a bone graft to replace lost tissue and restore your candidacy for implants, so you can take advantage of this life-changing procedure.
This bone atrophy begins as soon as the tooth is removed, and gradually continues over time. The longevity of dental implants is dependent on the quality of bone that supports them. In order for an implant to heal properly, it must be embedded in strong, healthy bone. Patients who have experienced bone loss may not be eligible for implant treatment.
About Bone Grafting
Bone grafting material can be derived from a few different sources, including the patient’s mouth, animal or donor tissue, and synthetic materials. The type which is most appropriate for your treatment will depend on your unique situation. Once the graft is placed, it will serve as a scaffold over the next few months while your own bone grows around it. In fact, by the time the graft has healed, the grafting material will have been absorbed by the body. The newly strengthened treatment site will serve as a foundation for your implants.
Types of Bone Grafts
There are a few different types of bone grafts:
- Socket graft: Also referred to as ridge preservation, a socket graft is placed at the time of an extraction. This prevents the body from resorbing the surrounding bone and preserves the ridge until dental implant placement.
- Block bone graft: If a patient has lost a significant amount of bone density over time, an autogenous graft is simply the most predictable option. A block bone graft is harvested from the posterior portion of the jawbone, where the wisdom teeth usually erupt.
- Sinus lift: When upper molars are missing, the maxillary sinus can descend downward and occupy the area where the roots once resided. During a sinus lift, the membrane is gently repositioned to its proper location, and a bone grafting material is added underneath.
Dr. Hecht will carefully evaluate your oral health and treatment goals in order to recommend the best type.
Benefits of Bone Grafting
Bone grafting procedures have truly revolutionized the field of restorative dentistry. Now more than ever, individuals who were previously considered ineligible for implants have access to this remarkable treatment option.
It should be mentioned that bone grafting procedures typically add up to nine months to the overall treatment timeline. However, undergoing this preliminary treatment can improve the stability of implant-supported dental crowns, bridges, and dentures, and give you the best chance for long-term success.
Sedation Dentistry for Your Comfort
Drs. Hecht and Hecht provide sedation dentistry for the comfort of our patients. We can administer oral conscious sedation or nitrous oxide, based on your individual needs. We understand that many patients delay treatment due to fear of the dentist. With sedation, we can help our patients relax and have a truly positive experience.
Learn More about Bone Grafting
If you have been told you do not qualify for dental implants in the past, we can help. With bone grafting procedures, we can increase your eligibility and improve your quality of life. To schedule a consultation with us, call our office at (718) 705-4434 or contact the office online.