Bone Grafts and Dental Implants

UT Southwestern Medical Center is recognized as a leader in bone grafts and tooth implants. Our oral surgeons are experienced in the diagnosis, treatment, and restoration of the full range of bone and dental conditions.

Patients suffering from tooth loss and bone deterioration are able to reclaim functionality and appearance through state-of-the-art technology and procedures available at UT Southwestern.

Until very recently, dentures and bridges were the only available options for patients with missing teeth. Dental implants now offer a third, permanent solution to tooth loss.

There are several benefits to dental implants:

  • Unlike dentures or bridges, dental implants are integrated into the bone, so they do not slide, click, or shift while talking and eating.
  • Implants stimulate the jaw bone, thus preventing bone deterioration and preserving facial structure.
  • Dental implants are a permanent solution that usually involves only one surgical procedure in the office.
  • Patients can smile with confidence, knowing their teeth look natural and they are able to eat virtually anything.

What are Dental Implants?

The implants themselves are tiny titanium posts that are inserted into the jaw bone where teeth are missing. These metal anchors act as tooth root substitutes and are surgically placed into the jaw bone. The bone bonds with the titanium, creating a strong foundation for artificial teeth. Small posts are then attached to the implant, which protrudes through the gums. These posts provide stable anchors for artificial replacement teeth.

Patients often do not have enough bone to accommodate the implants. In these cases, the addition of bone through grafting is performed first, followed later by the placement of dental implants.

UT Southwestern physicians have vast bone grafting experience, whether to prepare the jaw for dental implants or to repair bone damaged through injury, infection, or tumors. Using the latest surgical techniques, our oral surgeons are able to add bone exactly where it’s needed.

The surgical procedures fall into two types – the sinus life procedure and ridge augmentation. These procedures and others may be performed separately or together, depending on the patient’s condition.