Bone Grafting For Dental Implants

In order to place a dental implant, there must first be adequate bone to ensure a predictable and lasting result. Without sufficient bone mass, the dental implant is more likely to fail early or have trouble fusing with the existing bone at all. For this reason, bone grafting is sometimes required before the implant is placed.

Consequences of Bone Loss

Dental Implants: Will I Need Bone Grafting?

Only a thorough examination in our office can tell us if you will need a bone graft, but here are a few commonly occurring instances that often indicate its necessity:

  • When a tooth has been missing for several months or more. If you lost a tooth or had an extraction and didn’t have an implant or graft placed at the same time, your jawbone has likely deteriorated.
  • You experienced trauma or infection that caused defect in the bone.
  • Missing front teeth. The walls of the front teeth sockets are often very thin and have a difficult time regenerating on their own.
  • Sinus cavities that are very large or low. In this case, a “sinus lift” may be required to help restore the bone height needed for implant placement.

What Is Bone Grafting?

Bone grafting is a very common procedure during which we implant donated bone from either a tissue bank or your own body and a special membrane into the site that needs augmentation. The jaw is then left to heal for several months while your body grows new bone in the area.

Types Of Bone Grafting

Ridge Preservation

The most optimal time to address potential bone loss after tooth extraction is at the time of tooth removal.  Research has shown that up to 50% of bone width and some bone height is lost after a tooth is removed.  To offset this, at the time of extraction bone grafting material can be added to the site and it is covered with a special membrane to contain and protect the graft.  The site is allowed to heal for several months and then a dental implant can be placed in an ideal site for optimal esthetics and function.

Minor Bone Grafting

When a tooth has been removed and bone loss has occurred, sometimes there is enough bone to place an implant but the site remains deficient and may not be optimal for a dental implant’s longevity.  In this scenario, a dental implant is placed and the bone is augmented simultaneously for an ideal outcome.

Major Bone Grafting

When a tooth has been missing for a while and has suffered more severe bone loss, it may not be possible to place an implant without grafting prior.  Here, a bone graft is performed and allowed to heal for several months for the bone to mature, then a dental implant is placed in sufficient bone to allow for a predictable and lasting result.

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Does Bone Grafting Add More Time To The Implant Process?

Yes, it takes several months for new bone to grow in the jaw. Once the bone is adequately regenerated, Dr. Schaberg and Dr. Campbell can resume the implant process.

What Is Recovery From Bone Grafting Like?

Bone grafting may cause some post-op soreness and potentially some mild swelling for a few days, but typically this discomfort and swelling can be managed with over-the-counter medications. Any necessary prescriptions will be discussed at your appointment.

For more details on bone grafting and to find out how soon you can have your implants placed, please give us a call!


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