Bone Grafting and Dental Implants

Tooth loss is a serious problem that can make it difficult to speak clearly, chew effectively, and feel good about your appearance. Missing teeth can also lead to bone loss in the jaw, causing other teeth to shift. This increases your risk of tooth decay and periodontal disease, and it also changes your natural facial shape.

If you’re ready to restore a missing tooth, our oral surgery specialists can help. We can restore your tooth using a dental implant and bone grafting if necessary. This process will improve your oral health and increase your long-term quality of life. 

How Do Dental Implants Work?

When you want a permanent, natural-looking solution to missing teeth, dental implants are the best treatment available.

A dental implant is a biocompatible titanium post your oral surgery specialist places in your jawbone. As your tissue heals, it fuses to the dental implant post. This process stimulates new bone growth, which helps maintain your natural face shape and promotes good oral health.

After a few months of healing, you’ll return to our oral surgery office so that we can place a dental crown on top of your titanium dental implant post. This restoration completes the tooth replacement and allows it to function normally again.

Why Do I Need Bone Grafting?

For a dental implant to be successful, a certain amount of bone must exist in the jaw to completely surround the dental implant. The bone gives the dental implant stability and strength to support the forces of chewing.

In certain situations, either due to genetics or to the gradual bone resorption that occurs when a tooth is missing, you may not have enough bone where your natural tooth used to be. If you do not have enough jawbone in the area, we will not be able to place a dental implant. However, our oral surgery specialists can add bone to the area in a procedure called bone grafting. A bone graft will allow you to receive the dental implant you need. 

What Is the Bone Grafting Process?

When you meet with our dentist about dental implant treatment, we will use imaging diagnostics to determine how much bone you have in your jaw. If you lack enough bone to support a dental implant, we will discuss a bone grafting treatment plan with you.

In the bone grafting procedure, your dentist will add special bone grafting material to your jawbone. If the amount of bone needed is minor, we may be able to place the dental implant in the same procedure. If not, you’ll return to our oral surgery office in a few months after the area has had time to heal.

The timing of placing the dental implant after the bone grafting is important to avoid bone resorption, and your dentist will schedule your dental implant procedure with that in mind.

Who Is a Good Candidate for Bone Grafting?

While dental implants are fast becoming the treatment of choice for replacing missing teeth, some patients may not be good candidates for either dental implants or bone grafting. In these cases, we may recommend a dental bridge or another restorative dental treatment.

The best way to find out if you’re a good candidate for bone grafting or dental implants is to visit our dental office for a tooth replacement evaluation. Call to schedule a dental appointment today!