Have you decided to get dental implants – either to replace missing teeth or teeth that need to be extracted due to disease or fractures, or because you want a complete smile makeover to replace teeth you feel are unattractive? If so, you’re likely very eager to get the process started. After all, you deserve that beautiful smile you’ve always wanted, as well as the oral function that replicates natural teeth.
However, before the doctors at AOS in Galesburg move forward with placing dental implants, they will do a complete evaluation of your mouth – in part to determine whether or not you have sufficient jaw bone tissue to hold the titanium rods of the dental implants in place – especially without hitting the sinuses in your upper jaw. Having adequate jaw bone tissue is important because dental implants work by fusing with our Galesburg patient’s jaw bones, therefore staying in place permanently.
What If I Don’t Have Enough Jaw Bone Tissue to Support Dental Implants?
If, after a full evaluation of your mouth, our Galesburg doctors determine that you don’t have adequate jaw bone tissue to hold your dental implants in place, they will likely recommend that you have a jaw bone graft before having your implants placed. This oral surgery involves using donor tissue to “regrow” jaw bone tissue.
The jaw bone grafting surgery includes:
- Numbing you and sedating you with your desired sedation dentistry option, which could include nitrous oxide (also known as laughing gas), twilight anesthesia or general anesthesia;
- Accessing donor tissue from a tissue bank;
- Making an incision in your gums to expose the jaw bone tissue that needs to be regrown;
- Using titanium screws to hold the donor tissue in place;
- Using a mixture of your own bone marrow and donor bone graft material to place around the jaw bone graft site;
- Stitching a membrane over the bone graft site; and
- Closing up your incision.
All in all, it can take between 6 to 9 months for your jaw bone tissue to graft, providing you with sufficient jaw bone tissue to securely hold the titanium screws of your dental implants in place. When your surgeon – Dr. Busch, Dr. Otte, or Dr. Schroeder – determine that grafting has occurred, they will perform a second surgery, removing the membrane and the titanium screws that held the donor tissue in place.
The Importance of Waiting for a Jaw Bone Graft Before Having Implants Placed
We know that you are likely to be very anxious to have your dental implants placed. But if you don’t have adequate jaw bone tissue, waiting the extra 6 to 9 months to have bone grafting is crucial if you want to avoid the chances of implant failure. If implant failure does occur, your implants will either become loose and need to be removed, or fall out on their own.
Call Us With Your Questions
If you have any questions about dental implants or jaw bone grafting, we want to know so we can answer all your questions.
Call us today at our Galesburg offices at (309) 344-3311.