When it comes to tooth replacement, dental implants currently boast the highest long-term success rates. However, some patients do not qualify for this treatment due to bone deterioration. Dr. James Slaman, your Albuquerque, NM, dentist, can perform a bone graft in-office or coordinate treatment with a specialist to help make patients with bone deterioration eligible for dental implants. For most patients, a bone graft heals within four to six months and can provide a foundation as stable and secure as natural bone tissue.
Why Does Bone Loss Occur?
Bone atrophy occurs as a result of tooth loss. Therefore, patients who have been missing teeth for an extended period of time may have inadequate bone density. In some cases, patients may lose as much as 25 percent bone height within the first year of losing a tooth. When natural tooth roots are present, they actively stimulate nerves within the jaw, keeping the bone dense and healthy.
Patients who choose our practice can feel confident they are receiving the highest quality of care possible.
Once the tooth is gone, there is no stimulation. As a result, the bone slowly deteriorates. In some cases, bone loss may be the result of periodontal disease or genetics. If a patient has inadequate jawbone density, a dental implant cannot be placed predictably, since the implant post must be completely embedded into strong, healthy bone tissue. In cases of insufficient density, a bone grafting procedure can be performed to increase patient eligibility for dental implant treatment.
Overview of the Bone Grafting Process
If it is determined that you will undergo bone grafting, there are a few things you can expect during the process. These include:
- Digital diagnostic imaging: Using our GALILEOS® ComfortPLUS cone beam scanner, Dr. Slaman will assess the quality and density of your jawbone. Depending on your level of bone recession, he may perform the procedure himself, or he may refer you to a local, trusted specialist.
- Bone grafting surgery: To perform your bone grafting procedure, sedation will be administered for your comfort, and local anesthesia will be used to numb the area. A small incision is created in the gums so the underlying bone ridge can be accessed. Bone grafting material will be added to the deficient area, and the incision will be closed with stitches. The bone grafting material may be obtained from another part of the jaw (autogenous) or purchased from a bone and tissue bank (non-autogenous).
- Healing and recovery: In most cases, approximately four to six months of healing is required following a bone graft procedure. During this time, the grafting material will serve as a matrix while your body regenerates bone tissue. It is important to avoid smoking during the healing phase, since tobacco products can seriously hinder the success of your treatment.
Many patients are surprised to hear they may require a preparatory procedure before receiving implants. However, bone grafting is a common treatment. In fact, studies have shown that more than half of all patients require bone grafts prior to the placement of their dental implants. This procedure is also incredibly effective. A study published in 2016 concluded that survival rates of dental implants are the same in patients with native bone as patients with bone grafts.
Why Choose Dr. Slaman & Associates?
Dentistry is more than just a job to Dr. Slaman – it is his passion. Therefore, patients who choose our practice can feel confident they are receiving the highest quality of care possible. Because methods and technologies are constantly evolving, Dr. Slaman is dedicated to attending courses in continuing education. This allows him to stay up to date on the latest innovations, offering our patients the most accurate, predictable care available. Dr. Slaman has extensive knowledge regarding dental implants and preparation surgery and is a member of the New Mexico Implant Study Club. We also understand the importance of convenience. Depending on the complexity of your case, you may be eligible to complete bone grafting, implant surgery, and placement of final restorations all in one single location.
Schedule Your Bone Graft Consultation
If you have been told you do not qualify for dental implants due to inadequate bone density, you may want to consider what a bone grafting procedure could do for you. To explore your treatment options, schedule a consultation at our practice by contacting us online or calling (505) 881-7586.