Implant placement is a fairly simple minor surgical procedure, usually done under sterile conditions in a dental surgery. But if during assessment it is found that the underlying bone is deficient, your dentist can recommend a number of options for bone regeneration prior to the implant placement.
How to Determine if You Have Enough Bone for Dental Implants
Regular dental X-rays provide enough detail in two dimensions for the dentist to check the height of available bone for implant placement. However, more advanced imaging techniques may be necessary to determine the bone width, which is just as important. The most accurate and widely available radiography technique for viewing the jawbone in all three dimensions is known as cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) scanning.
The CBCT scan shows all of the necessary information about your jawbone at the site of implant placement, including the quantity, quality, and most importantly, the presence of anatomical structures that should be avoided. Anatomical structures that must be avoided include:
• The maxillary sinuses in the upper jaw
• The inferior dental nerve in the lower jaw
Solutions for Inadequate Bone
Patients who have suffered bone loss after the loss or removal of teeth can undergo a simple procedure to provide enough support for dental implants. Common procedures include:
1. Sinus augmentation
This refers to the process of creating new bone in the sinus to increase height in the upper jaw above your back teeth. The procedure is fairly simple when performed by a skilled surgeon, usually with highly predictable results.
2. Onlay graft with your own bone
There are a number of ways to add bone, though one of the most commonly used concepts involves taking a piece of bone from some other part and securing it as an onlay graft to the deficient area. The new piece of bone slowly bonds to the underlying region. After it has completely healed and matured, an implant can be attached in a more favorable position. The extra bone used for grafting can be harvested from the chin or behind the back teeth in the lower jaw.
3. Onlay graft from different bone source
Using your own bone for grafting can create some discomfort from the area of extraction. So, some people might use alternative sources of bone, like bovine (bone derived from a cow), porcine (derived from a pig), or specially prepared synthetic materials. Like your own bone, these materials provide a scaffold into which the new bone will grow in preparation for supporting dental implants a few months later. However, these materials take longer to heal than your own bone, usually from 3 to 12 months.
4. Grafting via guided tissue regeneration
This is another technique for creating new bone, whereby slow-moving bone cells are allowed enough time to fill a deficient space by placing a resorbable barrier material between them and the fast-moving cells of the soft tissues lining the mouth. The barrier disappears naturally after a few months.
Although these procedures increase the duration of your treatment, they greatly improve the outcome of implants placed. When used in the front of the mouth, bone grafting also allows for the creation of much better aesthetics.
Dr. Thein offers both bone grafting in Glendale, as well as sinus augmentation procedures in preparation for the successful placement of dental implants. Contact him @ (833) 357-7578 for more information.