At Hill Country Oral Surgery we are well trained in the bone grafting procedures required for the placement of functional and aesthetic dental implants. We have performed many of these procedures successfully for people who are simply missing teeth as well as for patients who have had severe traumas.
Why would I need bone grafting prior to or with implant placement?
When teeth are missing or removed, the supporting bone shrinks and atrophies overtime. The extraction procedure can also destroy valuable bone needed to insure a healthy dental implant. A sufficient quality and quantity of bone is vital for proper implant placement. The bone provides two very important functions for the dental implant, support and aesthetics. Implants are titanium screws that need to be of a sufficient size to be able to resist the forces generated by biting and chewing. If the bone is insufficient, then we may not be able to place a large enough dental implant that can predictably support function over time. Also, the bone provides the contour for the overlying gum tissue. When the bone atrophies, the naturally appearing contours of the gingiva can be lost. This can result in teeth that appear to be fake and unaesthetic. With bone grafting, we not only have the opportunity to replace bone where it is missing, but we also have the ability to promote new bone growth in that location. This not only allows us to place implants of proper length and diameter, it also gives us a chance to restore function and aesthetics.
Do all people with missing teeth require bone grafts?
Not everyone missing teeth require bone grafts; however, the longer the tooth has been missing the more likely there is insufficient bone is to have a healthy and aesthetic dental implant placed.
How do I determine if I need a bone graft?
A consultation appointment, where we complete a physical exam and in office CT scan will enable us to immediately determine whether or not there is sufficient bone for implant placement.
Where do bone grafts come from?
There are a variety of sources for bone graft material that can be used to reconstruct implant sites deficient in bone. For many people we can eliminate the need for a second surgical site by using processed sterilized bone from a tissue bank from a bovine (cow) or human source. In implant sites that require much larger reconstruction, it is sometimes necessary to harvest your own bone. This is usually taken from the lower jaw at a position near your lower third molar, or the chin area. These grafts can be harvested with minimal risk and no cosmetic deformity.
The maxillary sinuses are air filled cavities that sit in the cheek bones above the backteeth. The roots of the back teeth often project up into the sinus in their natural position. When people have been missing teeth for a period of time, the sinuses will often migrate down even further into their space. This may result in insufficient bone to be able to retain a dental implant. If this is the case, various predictable low-risk augmentation procedures may be performed on the sinus to facilitate implant placement. At Hill Country Oral Surgery we are well versed in the nuances of sinus augmentation surgery, and perform these procedures successfully on a daily basis.
How will I know if I need sinus surgery?
At your consultation appointment we will complete a physical examination and take a three-dimensional CT scan that shows your existing bone and sinus anatomy. Together we will review this scan and use computer software to virtually place dental implants. With these tools we will discuss if sinus surgery is needed, and if so, we will also review the risks, benefits, and extent of surgery needed.
What is the timeline of implant placement if I need sinus surgery?
When sinus surgery is indicated, the timing of implant placement can be extremely variable. Sometimes implants can be placed in conjunction with sinus surgery. In other cases we may have to wait anywhere between 3-6 months before we can proceed with the implant surgery. We will be able to review your specific timeline at the consultation appointment.
How long is the recovery process?
Recovery is similar to that of a surgical tooth extraction, and will typically require 4-5 days of reduced activity. You will receive a prescription for antibiotics and a special set of instructions called “sinus precautions”.
Schedule Your Consultation
Schedule a consultation today to determine your best choices. During a consultation, patients meet with their surgeon and the staff to discuss procedure options in more detail. Patients may ask questions about desired outcome as well as view before and after photos of similar procedures.