A dental implant is the preferred way to replace a missing tooth because it closely matches the look and feel of a real one. Dental implants are also a healthier choice compared to dentures and bridges because they keep the jaw bone strong, the same way real tooth roots do. However, implants must have enough bone to integrate with. Patients who have had missing teeth for some time tend to have low bone density, but Dr. Miller and Dr. Bounds can address it with a bone grafting procedure.
The most common way to replace lost bone is with an autogenous bone graft. A small amount of healthy bone is transferred from the patient’s chin to areas in the jaw where density is low. This procedure delivers very good outcomes and low risk of complications because the material is derived from the patient’s own body. A small incision in made on the gum line to determine how much bone is needed. The donor region is numbed and bone material is removed and surgically placed in the jaw with dental screws.
Allografts and Xenografts are other ways to improve bone density but the material comes from a tissue bank or animal instead of the chin. These materials are very safe, fully screened, and classified to provide alternatives for patients who wish to avoid chin surgery.
Antibiotics are used to prevent infection before and after the gum grafting procedure along with prescription medication to alleviate any tenderness during the early part of the healing period. Soft foods and liquids are also recommended at this time. Within six to nine months, the jaw should be strong enough to receive a dental implant with success.
Dental implants provide an effective means of replacing missing teeth, but do require sufficient bone for success. If bone loss is a concern, call Dr. Miller and Dr. Bounds to learn more about receiving a safe, successful bone graft in the Irvine, CA region.