Why is Bone Grafting Important?
Following any tooth extraction, the bone often undergoes gradual shrinkage and diminishes in both width and height. This can result in loss of tissue architecture, making the site inadequate for dental implants or any other types of teeth replacement. It also results in poor aesthetics and difficult function. Extraction site bone grafting prevents such bone loss and preserves normal tissue form.
Extraction Site Bone Grafting is Recommended for:
- Existing bone loss due to periodontal disease or abscess
- Following extraction of teeth in the upper front area (smile zone). The bone is extremely thin in this area and following tooth loss, the bone almost always shrinks and diminishes in dimension. This results is inadequate bone and gum tissue and poor aesthetic results, no matter what the replacement option.
- Delayed implant placement. If a tooth has been extracted and there is normal healthy bone, but the patient does not desire implant placement right away, then the site should be grafted. This is done to preserve the bone and prevent it from shrinking. The site then can be easily implanted later with predictable results. If not grafted, a defect can result, making it much more difficult and more costly to correct later.
What Happens after Extraction & Grafting:
The grafted bone material undergoes gradual healing as it is replaced by the body’s natural bone. This process typically takes four to six months. A dental implant is then placed and allowed to heal for several months before the final prosthesis is made. On occasion, an immediate restoration may be made providing you with your new teeth on the same day.
When Can an Implant be Placed?
An extracted site which has been grafted heals within four to six months. At that time a dental implant can be placed predictably and in proper position. The implant is allowed to heal for two to four months before placement of the final crown or bridge. Sometimes, an immediate restoration may be placed on the same day as an implant, providing immediate function and aesthetics benefits.
Bone Grafting at Time of Implant Placement:
Occasionally, bone may be thin around a dental implant. A similar bone grafting procedure may be done to augment it and create additional support. This type of bone graft takes the same time to heal as it takes for the bone to remodel around the implant after it has been placed.