Bone Grafting in Preparation for Implants
When a patient has been missing a tooth for a long time, bone loss occurs. The picture on the left depicts a patient who had a front tooth removed several years ago and is now interested in replacing the tooth with an implant. Note from the concavity that bone loss has occurred in the gum tissue. After bone grafting to augment the site, the picture on the right shows no concavity and the site ready for implant placement.
The surgical procedure
During the bone grafting procedure, the gum tissue is pushed away and a bone grafting material is added to the deficient area. Next, a resorbable membrane is placed over the graft. This membrane not only contains the material within the desired space, but it also prevents soft tissue from growing into the graft. Usually four to six months of healing is needed before reentering the site to place an implant.
Questions to ask if you are considering a bone grafting procedure:
- If I wear a temporary partial replacing the tooth, can I wear it after the procedure?
- Where does the bone come from?
- How long will my mouth be sore?
- How long does it take for the membrane to resorb?
- Can the implant and bone grafting be performed at the same time?