When considering dental implantation, the health of the jawbone is an essential element. There has to be sufficient bone to hold the screw which will anchor the artificial tooth. This is a great option because having something in the bone to keep the blood flow going will help keep the jawbone vital and strong instead of degenerating.  If your X-rays or CAT scans show that your bone is insufficient he or she can do one of several procedures to augment the bone. One is a bone graft where bone will be taken from another spot on the body and grafted onto the jawbone. After this step, a waiting period of 9-12 months of waiting for the graft to take will be necessary. This procedure is especially effective for the upper jaw.

Another jawbone augmentation method is a sinus lift. This is necessary when a tooth has been missing for some time and the sinus has taken over the vacated space. The sinus will be shifted and bone will be placed to block its path. This too requires a long healing period before the implantation process can proceed. If your mouth is very narrow a ridge expansion can be done.  to make room for implantation; this also required a year of healing before the dentist can proceed. When the bone has been prepared and is of sufficient mass, the dentist can proceed to the next step which is the implantation. We will cover the actual procedure in our next blog. In the meantime, if you have questions, call our office.