Do I Need a Bone Graft?
Following tooth extraction, the walls of the socket are typically thick and healthy. In these cases, the empty socket will fill naturally with bone in two to three months. But in cases where the socket walls are thin (such as in the upper and lower front teeth), the healing is not as rapid or predictable. In these situations, a bone graft is often recommended and will be placed at the time of tooth extraction to help your body fill in the empty socket with bone. This helps the patient maintain the width and density of bone they will need for eventual implant placement.
About Bone Grafts
If your tooth was extracted many years prior and the remaining bone is very thin, you may need a bone graft before dental implants can be placed. To achieve this, the bone graft will be positioned adjacent to the thin bone and allowed to heal for approximately six months. After the graft has successfully fused, the implant can be successfully placed within the ridge. Though it may not seem so, bone grafting is a relatively comfortable procedure that can typically be completed in a single office visit. There are various options available for bone grafting, including your own harvested bone.
Additional Considerations for Bone Grafting for Implants
Bone grafting may also be necessary when the sinus cavities in the upper jaw are too low, too large, or extend into the tooth's root area. These cases can occur when the teeth on the upper jaw were removed many years prior and the bone has depreciated. The sinus grafting procedure can be performed at our NobelPerio facility using local anesthesia and sedation. The procedure involves removing and relocating the membrane that lines the sinus cavity. Next, bone is added to the area to ensure that dental implants have adequate bone to secure to. Sinus cavity grafting can often be performed during the same appointment as dental implant placement.