Dental implants offer several advantages over traditional dentures if you have lost teeth due to trauma or decay. Implants are permanent, and can help with supporting face structure and clearer speech, and they also look and function like your natural teeth. However, you must have adequate bone structure to support dental implants. If you do not currently have strong enough bone structure, our Barnhart Dental team can help you with a bone graft first.
When You Might Need a Bone Graft
Several situations make it likely that you will need to have a bone graft performed by our Vienna dental team before you can receive your dental implants. Since every patient is unique, you will have a comprehensive oral exam when you are first considering getting dental implants, and Dr. John and Joseph Barnhart will let you know whether a bone graft will be necessary.
Some of the most common situations that require a bone graft include:
- Acid build-up
- Bone defects and/or infections
- Certain medical conditions
- Dentures that fit poorly
- Existing bone is too short or too thin
- Fractured teeth
- Gum disease
- Having one or more missing teeth
- Large number of cavities
- Periodontal disease
- Previous tooth extraction
- Weak bone density
You can expect significant improvement in your bone density after the bone graft.
What Happens During a Bone Graft Procedure?
The first thing Dr. Joseph or Dr. John Barnhart will do is locate a donor area and extract a small amount of the bone. This is typically from another area of your mouth, such as your back jaw where you may have had wisdom teeth extracted. You receive anesthetic first to ensure you are relaxed and comfortable, and then Dr. Barnhart will carefully transfer the bone to the area of your gums and jaw that will hold the dental implant in place. After minimal recovery time, your newly strengthened jaw will be ready to support your new dental implants, and your fully restored smile!