Bone Grafting/Sinus Lift in Houston, TX

bone graft procedure Houston

Maxillofacial Surgeon for Bone Graft/Sinus Lift

Patients who have lost one tooth or multiple teeth but do not replace them for an extended period of time may experience natural deterioration or resorption of the jaw bone. Once the jaw bone has begun to deteriorate or reabsorb, it can become quite challenging to place dental implants in that area. A shortage or an absence of bone can make it difficult for the implant to fuse with the jaw, and the implant is often too weak to support the tooth crown that will be placed.

Patients who do not address this shortage run the risk of experiencing long-term complications and, ultimately, implant failure. Fortunately, Dr. Johnson offers multiple options to overcome this issue using bone grafting techniques.

What type of bone graft materials are use?

A bone graft can be applied to single missing tooth sockets, sinus cavities, and larger areas that contain several missing teeth. The bone graft material can be obtained from a variety of sources, including

  • Autogenous bone grafts that are harvested directly from the patient’s body and affords the most predictable outcome following surgery
  • Allograft bone grafts that are harvested from a cadaver
  • Xenografts that are harvested from a cow bone
  • Bone Morphogenetic Protein, BMP, a synthetic bone compound created in a lab

While utilizing your own bone is always the best option, this is not always a possibility. If the patient’s own bone can be used, it is often taken from the bone around the third molar in the upper or lower jaw, the chin, the hip, or the tibia. When the patient’s own bone cannot be used to make the graft, the surgeon will either use a mineral bone substitute or collect the bone from a tissue bank.

Why do I need a bone graft?

There are several reasons that you may be missing a tooth, such as a facial trauma incident that has knocked out the tooth or fractured the jaw. The consequences of tooth and jaw bone loss include but are not limited to

  • Misalignment, drifting, loosening, and loss of the remaining healthy teeth
  • Collapsed facial profile
  • Limited lip support
  • Skin wrinkling around the mouth
  • Distortion of other facial features
  • Jaw (temporomandibular joint TMJ) pain, facial pain, and headaches
  • Difficulty speaking and communicating
  • Inadequate nutrition as a result of the inability to chew properly and painlessly
  • Sinus expansion

The rate of deterioration varies greatly among individuals, making it difficult to determine the amount of jaw bone loss an individual has suffered without proper examination by a qualified oral and maxillofacial surgeon. In general, jaw bone resorption usually begins to take place immediately following the loss or removal of a tooth and continues to worsen as time goes on.

Which bone grafting treatment is right for me?

Socket Preservation
To preserve an empty tooth socket following the loss or extraction of a tooth, you may receive a small oral bone graft to fill the socket. This procedure is simple, safe, and effective, affording you a quick recovery time and continual benefits, such as increased jaw bone health. For several weeks following the socket preservation procedure, the bone graft that was placed in your socket integrates with your natural bone, providing a solid anchor for a replacement dental implant.

Sinus Lift Procedure
Behind your cheeks and on top of your upper teeth, you have maxillary sinuses, which always remain empty. The bone that separates your mouth from these sinuses is typically very thin, making it difficult to place stable implants into the bone following tooth loss. Fortunately, the surgical team at Oral & Facial Surgery Institute of Houston utilizes a bone grafting technique that solves this problem, called a sinus lift. During the procedure, Dr. Johnson carefully enters into the sinus cavity and lift the sinus membrane. Once he has safely entered this area, our oral surgeon can place a bone graft that will integrate with the jaw bone over several months following the procedure. Once the bone graft has been fully integrated with the jaw bone, dental implants can be placed in a separate surgical visit.

Ridge Expansion
The bone that surrounds and supports the teeth, known as the alveolar ridge bone, can naturally deteriorate or become less dense over time. When this occurs, a special type of bone grafting procedure, known as a ridge expansion, can help to strengthen and support the bone. A ridge expansion is a more complex form of bone grafting that involves surgically splitting the bony ridge of the jaw and inserting bone graft material into the new space created by Dr. Johnson. The procedure is designed to widen the jaw to increase the bone width and create a solid anchor for dental implants.

More Information about Bone Grafting:

Wikipedia – Bone Grafting Information

Is Bone Grafting a Painful Procedure?

The pain and discomfort from a bone grafting procedure is usually mitigated through the use of anesthesia. Once the procedure is complete, it is common to experience mild swelling and discomfort, which can be managed through pain medication. 

What Are The Risks of Getting a Bone Grafting Procedure?

The risks of a bone grafting procedure are dependent on a few factors, such as the type of graft, the surgeon’s experience, and your overall health.

The risks of a bone graft procedure include the following:

  • Increased risk of infection
  • Excessive bleeding
  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Scarring
  • Graft failure, which is when the graft does not undergo osseointegration.
  • Damage to the nerves which can result in tingling or numbness in the treated area.
  • Graft rejection is when the body rejects the bone from an allograft.
  • Prolonged healing
  • Having an allergic reaction to the anesthesia

There are other risks that are very rare, including blood clots, damage to the blood vessels, and having an allergic reaction to the bone graft material. One of our team members will cover these risks as well as the benefits during your consultation with them. They will also assist you in choosing the right bone graft material. 

Who Are Not Good Candidates For Bone Grafting?

Although bone grafting is a commonly performed procedure, it is not for everyone. Patients must first be deemed as an eligible candidate before they can undergo treatment. However, certain factors can disqualify some patients from bone grafting.

These factors include the following:

  • You are in poor health
  • You have an active infection
  • You have untreated, periodontal disease
  • You are a smoker
  • You have poor bone quality
  • You have a nutritional deficiency
  • You have unrealistic expectations regarding treatment

You will know whether or not you are a good candidate for bone grafting during your consultation with one of our team members. If you are not considered a good candidate, we can offer you safer alternatives.

How Successful is a Bone Graft Procedure?

Replacing your bones may sound like a risky procedure, but it actually has a high success rate. The success rate of bone grafting does depend on the type of graft being performed. According to the National Institute of Health, allografts have an 82.8 percent success rate, while composite bone grafts have a success rate of 66.06 percent. Other factors that affect the success rate of a bone graft include your overall health and the expertise of the surgeon. 

What Lifestyle Changes Should I Make Following a Bone Graft Procedure?

Once your bone graft procedure is complete, there are certain lifestyle changes you should make to help aid in the healing process. 

These changes can include the following:

  • Limit alcohol consumption as it can interfere with the healing process and increase your chance of experiencing a complication.
  • Consume foods with vitamin D, such as salmon, egg yolks, and milk.
  • Refrain from smoking as it can decrease oxygen delivery to the tissues and negatively affect blood flow. 
  • Always follow your provider's post-operative care to ensure a safe and smooth recovery.

Schedule an Appointment

If you need a bone graft, then come visit the Oral and Facial Surgery Institute of Houston. Contact us at 281-491-4545 to schedule an appointment today.

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