Drs. Smith and Domingue
Has another dentist told you that you’re not a good candidate for dental implants? For most dentists, dental implants in patients who have deteriorated bone tissue because of extractions, trauma, or gum disease are just too complex and beyond their skills. Luckily, we are not most dentists!
Dentists from across the Southeast come to our Acadiana dental practice to learn how to place and restore dental implants. Patients come to us from as far away as Texas and Mississippi to get advanced dental care.
We understand that every patient’s needs are different, and we are committed to finding ways for every patient to get the care they need. If the quality of your bone tissue is not currently sufficient for dental implants, we can build it up using a process called bone grafting.
What Is Bone Grafting?
You may already be familiar with the concept behind tissue grafting. During this type of procedure, tissue is removed from somewhere else on the body (or obtained from a tissue bank) and then surgically placed over the area that needs to be repaired and treated so that it incorporates into the existing tissue. This type of procedure is often used to help repair the skin of patients who have been badly burned.
Bone grafting is essentially the same idea. We can use bone from a tissue bank or remove bone from another area on your body. We will discuss your options with you during your consultation and give you the advantages and drawbacks of each option and provide you with our recommendation to help you make an informed decision.
Once the donor bone has been placed, it is covered with a special barrier of material that encourages your existing tissue to accept the donor bone and incorporate it so that it becomes a permanent part of the bone structure.
Other Uses for Bone Grafts
In addition to building up your bone tissue for placing dental implants, bone grafts may be used to treat other dental conditions as well. Some of the other reasons we may recommend a bone graft include:
Sinus lifts – If implants cannot be placed because of the quality of your sinus floor, a sinus lift may be necessary. In this procedure, your sinus membrane is raised to a more suitable position and then extra bone is grafted onto the sinus floor to provide a location for dental implants to be placed.
Nerve repositioning – In some cases, the location of your inferior alveolar nerve, which runs through your lower jaw, is affected by advanced bone loss. When this happens, placing dental implants could cause you to lose sensation in your chin and your lower lip. We absolutely don’t want this to happen! We can use a repositioning technique to move the nerve and then use bone grafts to fill in the gap created during the surgery.
Ridge augmentation – Certain conditions such as trauma, advanced periodontal disease, and birth defects can cause ridges to form in the bone of your jaw. Bone grafting allows us to fill in these ridges to restore the health of your jaw.