Bone Grafting: Improving the Structure and Function of Your Smile

diagram of jaw bone degradation when missing teeth

While the primary concern for missing, or failing teeth is loss of biting and chewing function, treating a fading smile is often equally as important. With dental implant and advanced bone grafting solutions, you can enjoy both restored function and improved esthetics. Find out how bone grafting can help you get dental implants and strengthen the structure of your smile. 

How Bone Grafting and Dental Implants Support the Structure of Smiles

Bone grafting is a broad term for a number of procedures aimed to replacing or regenerating lost bone. In general, these procedures are carried out in periodontal and oral surgery offices by specialists who place allograft (sterile cadaver bone made of collagen type 1 and 3) or autogenous (your own bone harvested from elsewhere in the mouth) bone material in areas of the jawbones that have experienced bone loss.  This “regrown” bone now serves to replace teeth via implants at sites that were previously not candidates.  At the new implant sites, the loading or what specialists call proprioception of the implant to the bone, preserves bone density and volume going forward. This is a way not only to replace missing teeth but also to minimize further loss of bone and preserve your natural anatomy. 

Options for Bone Grafting

Here’s a look at two common bone grafting procedures:

Ridge augmentation – Bone tissue and growth factors, which expedite healing, are placed to strengthen jawbones and provide a firm foundation for dental implants. Dr. Anderson prefers a novel technique called S.M.A.R.T., involving adding bone graft to a deficit site via a pouch. This minimally invasive option is correlated with better patient reported outcomes and superior clinical gains vs more invasive traditional techniques. 

Ridge preservation – Bone is grafted immediately into sockets after extraction. This procedure minimizes bone loss or atrophy after a tooth extraction, and can help prevent the need for ridge augmentation procedures thus leaving open the possibility for dental implants later.

More on Dental Implants and Bone Grafting in Bloomfield Hills, MI

Reserve an appointment with Dr. Lauren Anderson of Anderson Periodontal Wellness for a consultation on dental implants and bone grafting in Bloomfield Hills, MI. 

Bone Grafting Goes Minimally Invasive

Much like how knee surgery of the past has been updated with a less invasive approach involving small incisions and laparoscopic tools, so has bone grafting for the oral cavity. Dr. Lauren Anderson is S.M.A.R.T (Subperiosteal Minimally invasive Aesthetic Ridge augmentation Technique) certified and trained by its founder Dr. Ernesto Lee. With this technique, Dr. Lauren Anderson is able to offer less invasive options to predictably regenerate lost bone. S.M.A.R.T. indications include bone growth prior to implant placement (congenitally missing teeth, ridge atrophy, trauma etc.) and jaw expansion for orthodontic patients who do not have adequate bone thickness to allow for tooth movement.  

bone grafting

In the above image, please note the before and after grafting radiographic images of a patient seeking implant therapy. The jaw bone is surrounded by cortical bone shown as a curved white line (upper image) and is insufficient for implant placement, the new jaw bone as the larger area of white to the lateral of the initial outline (lower image) now a surplus of bone noted for ideal implant placement.  This case, courtesy of Dr. Ernesto Lee, is an example of the results that are routinely reached with this grafting technique. The patient reported little to no discomfort and minimal swelling after the procedure. Bone requires 6 months to heal prior to the next phase of therapy, implant placement. 

For a consultation with Dr. Lauren Anderson or to see if you are a candidate for this new grafting technique, please contact Anderson Periodontal Wellness at (248) 480-4910.

How a Periodontist Can Make You a Stronger Candidate for Dental Implants

It’s exciting- the prospect of having replacement teeth implanted, restoring both function and esthetics to your smile. But just a few simple words, “you aren’t a good candidate for dental implants,” can dash hopes of smiling confidently again and again enjoying foods you could no longer eat after losing your natural teeth.

However, a periodontist can offer you more advanced solutions to regrow lost bone and allow dental implants to be placed. These are some of the things an experienced periodontist in Bloomfield Hill, MI can do to keep your help you become a stronger candidate for dental implants.

The Standard Bone Grafting Process

Your jawbone is made of living tissue. The roots of natural teeth, which are housed in the jawbone, keep the bone stimulated. But when teeth fall out or are knocked out, the area once stimulated by natural teeth begins to deteriorate.

Bone grafting after extraction can help preserve areas susceptible to bone loss and can even regenerate new bone tissue.

After you’ve been giving a local anesthetic, your periodontist will fold back a small flap of your gum to access the area of the jawbone threatened by deterioration. Your periodontist will pack bone particles into the area.

Within a few months, usually about three to six, the graft material will be absorbed and replaced with new bone growth.

Advanced Grafting Solutions

Below are some of the many advanced bone grafting solutions offered at Anderson Periodontal Wellness:

Ridge preservation – the procedure helps save bone after a tooth is lost or pulled. The socket is packed with natural bone particles to minimize bone loss during the healing process. This, many times, prevents the need for more invasive grafting in the future by preserving the natural anatomy.

Guided tissue regeneration – biocompatible membrane is placed over a bone graft, helping your periodontist manage the regeneration of bone and gum tissue.

S.M.A.R.T – much like a soft tissue graft can be tunneled under your gum for root coverage, Dr. Lauren Anderson is trained to perform minimally invasive SMART procedures to reach bone growth through a similar tunnel in the gum.

Block grafting – in extreme cases of bone loss, bone from the side of your jaw or chin can be moved to the area of deficit. This bone can harbor dental implants after 6 – 9 months of healing.

Bone Morphogenic Protein (BMP) Growth Factors – a supplemental technique that leverages growth factors and new bone material to quicken regeneration time and predictably guide tissue growth.

More on Bone Grafting in Bloomfield Hills, MI

Reserve a time to talk with a Dr. Lauren Anderson DDS, MS to learn more about your options for getting dental implants in Bloomfield Hills, MI. Please reach Anderson Periodontal Wellness by phone at (248) 480-4910.

Case Presentation: S.O. Bone Graft Procedure

Dental Implant Placement

Meet our patient S.O., a 20 year old female. She was born with congenitally missing teeth in the lower jaw and as a consequence overt lost bone in these areas.  Dr. Anderson completed a bone graft procedure whereby a small piece of her own bone was taken from the symphysis (chin) and relocated to areas where dental implants were needed. S.O. was then able to receive dental implants to allow for greatly improved chewing, function, and esthetics. Please see above for anatomy before and after bone grafting procedures. S.O. was surprised by how significantly her quality of life improved after her periodontal work!

If you have bone loss but want to experience the benefits of fixed dental implants, contact Dr. Anderson to see if you are a candidate for this treatment or other minimally invasive grafting procedures. A comprehensive exam and 3D CBCT x-ray give Dr. Anderson the tools to customize your care!