Dental implants are a proven way to replace missing teeth, give you a beautiful smile, and restore your ability to chew food comfortably. Implants also preserve the structure and integrity of your jawbone.
However, not everyone who wants dental implants is ready for the procedure. Those patients may need a bone graft before attempting an implant.
Dr. George Saliba wants you to understand how bone grafting works, and how it prepares your mouth for a successful implant.
Before we explain bone grafting, you must understand how dental implants work.
A dental implant consists of a metal rod placed into the space where your tooth once lived. In a few months, the rod melds with your jaw bone and acts like a tooth root. Next, an abutment screws into the rod and, ultimately, a crown tops the abutment. In the end, you have an implant that looks and functions like a real tooth.
Successful dental implant surgery needs your jawbone to be strong and healthy enough to keep the implant in place for many years. If your jawbone is unhealthy or thin, it may not be able to accept or maintain the implant.
Bone grafting is a surgical procedure that takes bone from some part of your body to repair or rebuild bones damaged by disease or trauma. When it comes to implants, bone grafting can shore up a jawbone that is too thin or weak to accept an implant.
Once your bone graft heals, your mouth is ready for implant surgery.
Not all bone grafts come from the same place.
The bone grafting procedure is minor surgery that is usually performed in a dental office. You’ll be given a local anesthetic to avoid pain. If you’d like, we also can give you an IV sedative to help you relax. Then, a small, gum incision is made to access your jawbone and the grafting material is added.
Bone grafting adds several months to the implant process. Once the graft heals, you’re ready for your implant.
If you’re considering an implant, schedule an appointment with Dr. Saliba. You can call 281-607-1851 or use our online booking tool.