Deformities in the upper or lower jaw can leave you with inadequate bone in which to place dental implants. The defect may have been caused by periodontal disease, wearing dentures, developmental defects, injury or trauma. Not only does this deformity cause problems in placing the implant, it can also cause an unattractive indentation in the jaw line near the missing teeth that may be difficult to clean and maintain.

Today, we have the ability to grow bone where needed. This not only gives us the opportunity to place implants of proper length and width, it also gives us a chance to restore functionality and esthetic appearance.

To correct the problem, the gum is lifted away from the ridge to expose the bony defect. The defect is then filled with bone or bone substitute to build up the ridge. We can tell you about your options for graft materials, which can help to regenerate lost bone and tissue.

Finally, the incision is closed and healing is allowed to take place. Depending on your individual needs, the bone usually will be allowed to develop for about four to six months before dental implants can be placed. In some cases, the implant can be placed at the same time as the bone graft.

Bone grafting has been shown to greatly improve appearance and increase your chances for successful implants that can last for years to come. Bone grafting can enhance your restorative success both esthetically and functionally.

Common Questions

In order for patients to enjoy long-term dental implant success, they must have adequate bone tissue at the implant site to support osseointegration, which is the process by which the bone material fuses with the titanium dental implant. Unfortunately, bone loss is often a consequence of tooth loss, so patients who delay dental implant treatment may experience bone loss that could become a barrier to implant placement. In these cases, bone grafts that provide supplemental bone tissue in the area can help these patients become good candidates for dental implants.

The patient will be under sedation during the bone graft itself and should not experience any discomfort during the procedure. In the first few days afterward, the patient may experience some discomfort and swelling. This discomfort can usually be managed by painkillers, either over-the-counter or prescription strength. If you have persistent pain for several days following the procedure, you should check in with your provider, as it may signal a problem.

In terms of your ability to participate in normal activities, such as work and school, you should be able to resume most aspects of your routine within a few days. You may need to hold off a little longer before getting back to vigorous activity, however. The bone graft takes longer to completely heal, though. Your body takes a number of months to integrate the graft material with newly produced bone cells. Only after the graft has healed completely can you proceed with dental implant placement.

The cost of a bone graft will differ in various patient scenarios. Factors that can affect the cost may include the amount of bone material that must be grafted, as well as the location of the graft. The cost may also include fees for affiliated services, such as sedation and radiographic imaging. Our experienced billing staff will work to maximize any insurance coverage that you may have in order to defray your out-of-pocket costs. We also accept a variety of payment options and can link you with financing services in order to help you fit this treatment into your budget.