If you’re one of the many people who were not deemed a good candidate due to your lack of adequate jawbone and gum support, there’s no need to fret but rather, just an extra step in the journey towards your brighter smile. Dr. Ajmo and his team thoroughly check these 2 vital parts in your mouth to ensure a strong foundation for dental implants. However, there are times where the jawbone or gum is just not sufficient enough for dental implants. In these circumstances, we will recommend either bone grafting or soft tissue augmentation.
Bone grafting is a surgical procedure that occurs before the dental implant process begins. Dr. Ajmo replaces weak or missing bone in the jaw so the small titanium screws can have a stable foundation to be implanted into. Bone grafting material comes from a variety of sources. Some may come from a donor while other material is purely synthetic and made up of strong material to deliver the most optimal results in strengthening the jawbone. Other times bone grafting material may come from another part of your body, such as the hip or chin.
Dental sedation is used along with local anesthesia to numb the area where the procedure will take place and calm the patient for surgery. The doctor will then go off the CT scan he took prior to the surgery to help him create the best foundation he needs to complete the rest of the dental implant process. Then, Dr. Ajmo will apply a block of bone with titanium screws to keep it locked into place with the rest of the jawbone so it can heal for an ideal implant foundation.
Next, he will continue to close the incision with stitches for recovery. The recovery process can take from 6-9 months to fully heal before the dental implants can be placed.
Soft Tissue Augmentation
Soft tissue augmentation is a similar concept to bone grafting. It is for when there is not enough gum tissue for the dental implant procedure to be completed. The purpose of soft tissue augmentation is to enhance the look and maintenance of teeth and implants so something is there (tissue and gum) to floss and brush. If we all had less gums, it would be more difficult to maintain oral health because there would be nothing in between teeth to floss and brush. Teeth would decay far quicker due to the lack of space and protection in between each tooth.
What typically happens in a soft tissue augmentation procedure is Dr. Ajmo will remove some soft tissue from the roof of your mouth, also known as the palate; other times the soft tissue may be made of synthetic material, depending on the situation. Then, the tissue will be transplanted to the graft site in order to create a stable foundation for the titanium screws that will be fused together with the gums and jawbone, forming a normal, healthy bone structure that looks naturally appealing. Soft tissue grafts may take a few weeks to months to heal properly for the best dental implant results.