In preparation for dental implant surgery, the health of the jawbone must be carefully evaluated at the location of the future dental implant. If the jawbone is too thin or too soft, it may be necessary to supplement the surgical site with additional bone.

Bone graft surgery provides the reinforcement that the dental implant will need to withstand the powerful chewing forces that are exerted on the jawbone. Weak bone that cannot support a dental implant is more likely to result in a failed surgery. To reduce the risk for a failed surgery, Dr. Leonhart can perform a bone graft to establish a more solid foundation for the dental implant.

The Bone Graft Procedure

Bone graft surgery is performed in our state-of-the-art surgical facility typically under deep sedation. A small piece of bone can be transplanted from one part of the jaw to the deficient area but, more often, the supplemental bone is harvested from a cadaver or bovine source. Through a small opening in the gum tissue, the jawbone can be exposed and the supplemental bone placed. The gum tissue will then be sutured together and the surgical site will be permitted to heal before the implant is placed. The healing phase varies depending on the extent and type of grafting. Some minor bone grafts can be performed at the same time as the implant placement. Dr. Leonhart emphasizes treatment options that shorten the overall course of treatment so you can get back to smiling and eating without restriction as quickly as possible.

Types of Bone Graft Procedures

Supplemental bone can be used to increase the width of the jawbone in an area that is not wide enough to accommodate the implant. If necessary, the height of the bone can also be increased. Dips, defects, and irregularities in the jawbone can be corrected through bone graft surgery. It is also a common practice to lift the floor of the sinus (sinus lift) and add additional bone to prevent an upper implant from extending into the sinus cavity.

Planning for your Bone Graft Surgery

Replacing missing bone and encouraging the growth of new bone in a precise location provides us with the opportunity to place more successful dental implants and create highly functional smiles. To find out how bone graft surgery could factor into your dental implant treatment plan, contact our office today.