Strengthen Your Jawbone with Bone Grafting
Bone grafting is a surgical procedure designed to strengthen the jawbone and correct bone defects. Bone grafting can be performed to enhance oral function or facial aesthetics, and is most commonly used to improve dental implant candidacy. Backed by decades of combined dentistry experience, Drs. Steven Balloch and Joshua Lomke in Hartford, CT, can perform safe and effective bone grafting procedures to help their patients prepare for dental implant surgery.
Why Bone Grafting?
Generally speaking, there are two types of bone grafts that can be performed to address bone deficiencies on the upper or lower jaw. To strengthen the upper jaw, a sinus lift is often the surgical solution. Alternatively, a ridge augmentation is generally performed on the lower jawbone to repair a bony defect.
Bony defects can occur following tooth extraction, jaw trauma, or lesion removal, and may relate to the height or width of the bone, or both. With a bony defect, the alveolar ridge, or the portion of the jaw that surrounds tooth roots of teeth, changes in form. This potentially affects oral function, facial aesthetics, and can obviate the possibility for dental implant placement.
A process called osseointegration is key to a successful implant procedure. This process involves the fusion of the jawbone with the implant, which provides incredible stability to the implant and attached prosthetics. Since jawbone strength is crucial to anchor the implants and for the osseointegration process, sufficient jawbone tissue is required for dental implant placement.
The Bone Grafting Procedure
To begin, local anesthesia will be administered to numb the area. If necessary, other sedation options are available to ensure your comfort throughout the procedure. If you are undergoing a ridge augmentation, this is accomplished by placing grafted bone material—either from another part of the body, from a donor, or from a synthetic material—into the tooth socket. Typically, this is performed immediately following tooth removal. For sinus lift patients, a thin layer of the membrane that separates the sinus from the jawbone is gently lifted. Grafted bone material is then placed into the empty space between the membrane and the sinus floor.
A ridge augmentation can strengthen the lower jaw bone, while a sinus lift can improve bone mass in the upper jawbone.
Bone Grafting Recovery & Aftercare
Patients should expect some inflammation and discomfort following their bone graft. A simple and effective measure to reduce swelling is applying ice packs to the side of the face. Patients may also be given medication to ward off pain, congestion, and swelling. Antibiotics may also be prescribed to prevent infection.
To avoid irritating the treatment area, patients will be directed to carefully and gently brush their teeth and limit their diet to soft foods for a few days, or until determined by your doctor. Most patients may return to work within a week of their procedure.
Learn more about Bone Grafting
If you have poor jawbone density, or a jawbone defect, a bone grafting procedure may be the treatment you need to repair your jaw and restore your candidacy for dental implants. To schedule your consultation, contact us online or call our practice at (860) 659-8660.