Dental implants have revolutionized restorative dentistry and tooth loss treatment. By the time they reach their mid-40s, the majority of patients will have lost at least one of their natural teeth. If left untreated, this loss will result in the degradation of healthy jaw bone and, likely, the loss of additional teeth. Fortunately, dental implants not only offer a strong and durable replacement for lost teeth, but also continue to stimulate the jaw bone so that healthy cells continue to grow. While dental implants are extremely beneficial for patients, they do require significant bone density for ample support. For patients who have already experienced bone loss as a result of adult tooth loss, this can be a problem. However, board-certified periodontist, Dan Holtzclaw can perform a bone grafting procedure to allow his Austin patients to undergo dental implants treatment.
The Bone Grafting Procedure
Dr. Holtzclaw is able to perform the bone grafting procedure in his office so patients can be sure that they receive the highest quality care throughout the bone grafting and dental implant procedure. During the bone grafting procedure, a graft will be placed in the jaw bone. The bone graft will likely come from another area of the body, typically the chin or back part of the lower jaw, although a cadaver or synthetic graft may be used in some cases. Local anesthesia will be used to numb both the donor site and the recipient site, and then small incisions will be made in order to obtain access to the donor bone and the area of jaw that will be receiving the graft. Once the graft is in place, all incisions will be closed with sutures.
The success of a bone graft procedure largely depends on proper healing. Following surgery, patients will be given pain medication, antibiotics, and an antibacterial mouthwash that should all be used as directed. During the recovery period, the bone graft will fuse with existing bone and promote the rebuilding of new, healthy, bone cells. It typically takes a minimum of four months for the bone to heal completely and be prepared for dental implants treatment.
Dental Implants after a Bone Graft
After the jaw bone has healed completely from a bone grafting procedure, dental implants treatment can proceed as usual. Dental implants treatment is a multi-step process that will begin with the surgical placement of the dental implants, which are actually small titanium screws.
During the recovery from this phase of treatment , the implant will fuse with the jaw bone. When this has happened, another surgery will be scheduled and the gum line will be opened in order to attach abutments to the dental implants. Abutments are small metal posts that connect to the implant beneath the gum line and then protrude from the gum line where they will attach to dental restorations.
The final phase of treatment will be placing dental restorations on the metal abutments and this will be completed at a final appointment once the gums have healed from the second surgical procedure. Including the bone grafting procedure, it can take between six and 12 months for dental implants treatment to be complete.
Schedule an Appointment
Dr. Dan Holtzclaw believes that dental implants are the best treatment option for tooth loss because of the security, durability, and many other benefits this procedure has to offer. If you have been told that you are a poor candidate for dental implants due to a lack of bone density, a bone grafting procedure can likely help. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Holtzclaw at your earliest convenience to learn more about bone grafting and dental implants. We look forward to meeting you!