The Surgical Procedure
First, implants are placed within your jawbone. Healing time following surgery varies from person to person and is based on a variety of factors, such as hardness of bone. In some cases, implants may be restored immediately after they are placed.

For the first three to six months following the surgery, dental implants are allowed to heal, gradually bonding with the jawbone. You should be able to wear temporary dentures and eat a soft diet at this time. At the same time, your restorative dentist designs the final bridgework or denture that will ultimately improve both function and aesthetics.

After the implant has bonded to the jawbone, the restorative phase begins. Dr. Wood will work with your general dentist to coordinate the fabrication of your new tooth or appliance.   An impression must be taken. Then posts or attachments can be connected to the implants. The teeth replacements are then made over the posts or attachments. Most patients do not experience any disruption in their daily life.

What Types of Prosthesis are Available?
A single prosthesis (crown) is used to replace one missing tooth – each prosthetic tooth attaches to its own implant. A partial prosthesis (fixed bridge) can replace two or more teeth and may require only two or three implants. A complete dental prosthesis (fixed bridge) replaces all the teeth in your upper or lower jaw. The number of implants varies depending upon which type of complete prosthesis (removable or fixed) is recommended. A removable prosthesis (over denture) attaches to a bar or ball in socket attachments, whereas a fixed prosthesis is permanent and removable only by a professional.

Bone Grafting
Bone grafting is a procedure to replace bone in the jaw. It can be used to regenerate bone in the jaw in patients who have lost bone structure due to the loss of teeth or as the result of periodontal disease. Bone grafting can also be used to maintain the form of the jaw to support future dental implants.

What is Bone Grafting?
In the dental field, bone grafting is a simple procedure designed to regenerate missing bone in the jaw. Grafts of bone are placed within the jaw where there is an insufficient amount of bone through a short and short surgical procedure. Over a healing period of several months, these bone grafts are absorbed by the jaw and contribute to the formation of new bone cells. The grafts convert to new, living bone cells, replacing the bone loss caused by missing teeth or periodontal disease.

How is Bone Grafting used with Dental Implants?
While dental implants have become one of the most popular methods for replacing a missing tooth or teeth, they require a strong foundation in the jaw in order to be successfully placed. Unfortunately, many patients who have lost teeth lack the bone density in their jaw bones to hold dental implants. In many cases, these patients can still have dental implants placed following a simple bone grafting procedure.

How is Bone Grafting performed?
Before your bone grafting procedure, diagnostic testing will be performed to determine the precise locations where bone grafts will need to be placed and the amount of bone grafts necessary. Once your treatment plan is determined, you will be ready to undergo your bone grafting procedure.
During the procedure, the area that needs bone is prepared and the grafting material is carefully placed and secured. Over the course of several months, the grafts will heal, promoting the growth of new bone in the jaw.

Who is a good candidate for Bone Grafting?
If you have deficient bone structure in the jaw caused by missing teeth or periodontal disease or if you need dental implants but lack the bone structure to support them, you may be a good candidate for bone grafting.