When it comes to teeth replacement, dental implants are a common choice – and with good reason. Implants help preserve bone density and overall oral health. And with proper care, they can last the rest of your life.

Dr. Brett Hester places and restores dental implants at our Valdosta, GA practice. He has the advanced training necessary to deliver long-lasting results.

In some cases, bone grafting is necessary before implants can be placed. This is a common procedure, and it can greatly increase your candidacy for dental implant treatment. Here, we’ll discuss the reasons why bone grafting may be necessary and highlight some of the most common regenerative procedures.

Why Does Bone Loss Occur?

Resorption is quite common following tooth loss. In fact, during the first year after losing a tooth, you can lose up to 25 percent of the bone density in that area. But why does this happen? When the teeth are present, the roots stimulate nerves in the jaw and send restorative signals to the brain. As a result, essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients are delivered to the area, keeping the bone healthy. When tooth loss occurs, the jawbone no longer receives stimulation and the bone ridge begins to atrophy.

Types of Bone Grafting Procedures

There are several types of bone grafting procedures that can be performed to preserve or restore bone health. We’ll explore these in more detail in the sections below.

Socket Preservation

When a tooth is extracted, your dentist may place a socket preservation graft at the same time – especially if you know you’re going to replace the tooth with a dental implant. A bone graft is proactive; it prevents the collapse of the surrounding tissues after a tooth is removed. Socket preservation lays the foundation of healthy bone so an implant can be placed later on.

Ridge Augmentation

If it’s been a while since tooth loss occurred, the supporting bone has probably already atrophied. In some cases, this means a dental implant cannot be placed because it would not have enough space. Ridge augmentation addresses this problem. This process can add width, height, and density to the jawbone so that it can properly accommodate implants. Sometimes ridge augmentation can be completed at the same time as implant placement. In most cases, however, a few months of healing are required between these two steps.

Sinus Lift

The upper molars sit just beneath the maxillary sinuses. When tooth loss occurs in these areas, the sinus membranes can actually drop down over time. This makes implant placement impossible, because the posts would perforate the sinuses. A sinus lift is an advanced procedure that raises the sinus membrane back into its original position. Then, bone grafting material is packed underneath it for support, and to provide a foundation for dental implants later.

Depending on the type of bone grafting necessary, Dr. Hester may refer you to an oral surgeon or a periodontist. He works closely with a variety of specialists so that our patients receive the most comprehensive care available.

Contact Our Practice for More Information

If you are considering dental implants, bone grafting could increase your eligibility for the procedure. To learn more about your options, schedule a visit at our Valdosta practice. Our knowledgeable team is always ready to answer any questions you may have. Contact us online or call us at (229) 247-3400.