Implant Supported Dentures: Is a Bone Graft Recommended?
Patients may consider implant supported dentures a compromise between conventional and dental implants. Implant-supported dentures involve four to six implants, or titanium screws, installed into a patient's jawbone. Once installed, the patient must wait for the screws to fuse with the bone. After about three to six months, the dentist attaches unique dentures. Once finished, the patient's smile will look more natural than with traditional dentures.
Why you may need a bone graft for implant-supported dentures
If a patient decides to undergo the procedure to receive implant-supported dentures, the jawbone needs to be healthy and prepared for installation. In some cases, patients may require a bone graft to increase strength or bone density before the procedure.
Why do you need a bone graft?
Dentists use titanium implants to secure a patient's dentures. The titanium fuses with the jawbone to ensure the implant does not slip or cause bone damage. Sometimes a patient's jawbone is not dense enough to undergo implant surgery for implant-supported dentures. When an individual chews, the mouth exerts pressure on the bone. If the bone is thin, it cannot support the implant and the procedure may fail. Bone grafts create the base for the implant.
Bone loss may occur after tooth extraction. When a patient does not have the tooth replaced after an extraction, the bone begins to deteriorate. The alveolar bone requires stimulation to remain strong, and without it, it begins to break down. Bone loss also occurs due to periodontal disease or gum disease. Gum disease causes infections within the gums and to the bone. Facial trauma may also result in bone loss, especially if the patient loses teeth.
What happens during a bone graft?
Dental bone grafts may use synthetic material or bone from the hip, tibia, or back of the jaw. Sometimes, the dentist may choose to do a bone graft using the patient's bone. When patients have an autograft or bone graft with their bone, the healing time tends to be faster, and the bone formation occurs quicker.
The dentist makes an incision during the bone graft to separate the gums from the bone. Next, the professional places the material between the two sections of bone that the dentist wants to grow together. The dentist can secure the bone graft using a dissolvable adhesive material or membrane with screws. Following the bone graft, the dentist sews up the incision and waits for the bone graft to heal before installing the implant-supported dentures.
For patients who require dentures, implant-supported dentures may be an option to restore their ability to chew and speak and improve their smile. After losing teeth, patients can lose hard and soft tissues, including bone tissue. Bone grafts can restore some bone loss or prevent further bone loss after an extraction. Implant-supported dentures may require a patient to undergo a bone graft.
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