Bone Grafting & Buildup
Some people do not have enough healthy natural bone to support dental implants. Natural bone insufficiency can be caused by:
- Gum disease
- Tooth development defects
- Wearing dentures long term
- An injury to the face or trauma
- Spaces left empty in the mouth after teeth are removed
- Dental procedures where efforts were not made to restore natural bone
In these cases a Bone Graft will need to take place before the implant can be surgically inserted. In this procedure bone material, either from your own body or a cadaver, is filled into the area of your jaw where the implant will eventually be placed. An incision is made in your gum to accomplish this. The site is then stitched up and may be covered with a thin membrane during the healing process, which can take from 3 to 6 months. During this time your dentist may create a “flipper” tooth to wear in your mouth as you heal. This is a removable denture made of acrylic that is intended to fill in the gap until it is time to place the implant. There are other temporary options for tooth replacement during the healing process, as well. Be sure to discuss them all with your dental implant specialist.
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