When you are missing teeth, it can affect more than just your ability to smile and chew. The longer teeth are missing from the jaw, the more likely it is that your bone will begin to deteriorate. When jaw bone atrophy occurs, replacing teeth — especially with dental implants — becomes difficult. Fortunately, all four of our practice locations in Springfield, Decatur, Jacksonville, and Litchfield, IL, offer a variety of bone grafting procedures for both preventing and restoring jaw bone loss.
Types of Bone Grafting Procedures
There are four common types of bone grafting procedures available, and your condition will help our team determine the best treatment for your needs. During your consultation, your oral surgeon will consider several factors before developing your treatment plan, including the location of your missing tooth, the length of time it has been missing, and the amount of jaw bone remaining. We will discuss all the details of your procedure with you, but we’ve provided some general information below:
Socket preservation is designed to prevent jaw bone deterioration. Rather than allowing the bone to atrophy when a tooth is extracted, our oral surgeons can place a bone graft in the socket to preserve it until it’s time to return to the office for dental implants. Usually, we perform socket preservation in the same procedure as a tooth extraction.
Sinus lift procedures are usually recommended for patients who need dental implants in the upper jaw. The sinuses, which are air-filled cavities behind the cheekbones, are separated from the upper teeth by a very thin bone. Often, placing a dental implant in such thin bone is difficult, if not impossible. A sinus lift, also called sinus augmentation, can be performed to supplement the bone and provide a more supportive base for the implant.
Ridge split expansion can create additional support for implants by expanding the height and width of the alveolar ridges, which support both the upper and lower teeth. Many times, these ridges are too thin to bear the placement of dental implants alone. With ridge expansion, our oral surgeons can augment these ridges to ensure they provide a proper foundation for implants.
Major bone grafting/reconstruction is only necessary for treating severe bone loss. Most commonly, it’s recommended for birth defects or facial trauma injuries. In cases of major bone grafting, it’s possible to use bone from your body, such as your hip, to perform the procedure (as opposed to artificial or donor bone).
Soft tissue grafts. Sometimes, gum disease (periodontal disease) can cause advanced gum recession that requires correction for a dental implant crown to line up nicely with the gum line. If this is the case for you, your oral surgeon may recommend a soft tissue graft. This type of graft will ensure that the gum lines up around the implant crown for the most lifelike result and a confident smile for our patients. Soft tissue grafts are small pieces of your own oral tissue taken from other areas of your mouth, often the roof of the mouth/palate, and surgically implanted in the area that needs more tissue. The improved aesthetic result of soft tissue graft procedures for dental implants is not the only benefit — this type of graft can also help stop further recession of the gums and the bone loss that can result from gum recession.
Bone Grafting at Oral & Facial Surgeons of Illinois
If you’ve previously been told you have an insufficient amount of bone for implants, or if you have a tooth requiring extraction and are interested in implants for replacement, contact our office. A bone grafting procedure may be the perfect solution for your needs. Contact our practice at any of our four locations in Springfield, Decatur, Jacksonville, or Litchfield, IL — we look forward to hearing from you.