Bone Grafting Can Restore Your Candidacy for Dental Implants

Patients who have suffered from jawbone deterioration may first require a bone grafting procedure. Patients interested in receiving implant-supported restorations such as dentures or dental bridges need a sturdy base to support these types of prosthetics. Although a bone graft will extend the dental implant treatment timeline, it is an integral step to ensure the success of implant surgery. Dr. Teddi Olszewski carefully evaluates the jawbone tissue of all dental implant candidates at our Northampton, MA, office. If you require bone grafting, she can discuss the procedure with you and how it will affect your dental implant surgery.

What is Bone Grafting?

Tooth loss, gum disease, and dental trauma can all lead to jawbone deterioration. Up to 25 percent of the bone is lost within the first year of losing a tooth. Because dental implants fuse with the bone to create a stable foundation for implant-supported restorations, some patients may need a bone graft procedure to replace this lost bone tissue.

The added bone can create the support needed for dental implants. Bone tissue can be taken from a variety of different sources, such as the patient's own chin, hip, or tibia. Dr. Olszewski may also use donor bone or synthetic bone graft material.

During the Procedure

Prior to starting the procedure, we will administer sedation and a local anesthetic. The sedative can help keep you comfortable and relaxed throughout the bone grafting process. The local anesthetic numbs the area to minimize any discomfort you may experience.

Once the area is numb and you are comfortably sedated, Dr. Olszewski will make a small incision in the gums, where the new bone material will be placed over the existing jawbone tissue. After securing the graft in place, the incision will be closed with dissolvable sutures.

Patients interested in receiving implant-supported restorations such as dentures or dental bridges need a sturdy base to support these types of prosthetics. 

Recovery and the Implant Timeline

For the first 24 hours following bone grafting, you should avoid brushing your teeth and rinsing or spitting. Try to avoid touching the incision site with your tongue or your fingers, as this could cause irritation and lead to infection. Avoid drinking through a straw for at least 48 hours and eat only soft foods during this time.

You may experience some swelling, which may last a few days or more. This is normal and you can use ice packs and over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications to lessen the swelling. It may take four to nine months for osseointegration, or the fusion of the graft to your existing bone tissue, to occur. Once this has happened and you are fully healed, Dr. Olszewski can proceed with your dental implant surgery.

Learn More about Bone Grafting for Dental Implants

If you are interested in dental implants but have been missing one or more teeth for some time, call Northampton Family & Cosmetic Dentistry at (413) 584-2902 or contact our office online to schedule a consultation with Dr. Olszewski. She can evaluate your jawbone to determine if you will require a bone graft prior to dental implant surgery.

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