Dental implants replace the tooth so seamlessly, it can seem like a miracle solution for many people. However, for patients who need a bone graft in order to successfully receive an implant, the process is a little bit more complicated. Read on to learn why a bone graft may be necessary, and get an idea of what the procedure looks like.
What & Why
A bone graft is a surgical procedure that aims to fix a portion of the bone, increasing bone density and allowing the bone to support an implant. A dental implant is a titanium post that is inserted into the jaw, fusing with the bone, and providing sturdy support for the restoration. If the jaw bone has been compromised, the patient will need a bone graft before the implant procedure can happen. There are a few common reasons why the patient may need a bone graft:
- Gum Disease: The bacteria involved in gum disease can, if left untreated, spread and attack the bone, causing the bone to break down.
- Tooth Loss: If your tooth is lost, the jawbone will begin to crumble. The longer a patient goes without having the tooth replaced, the more bone loss will occur.
- Trauma: Trauma can include a sudden accident or injury, or it can mean more prolonged wear, like grinding or clenching. Either can have an impact on the health of the jaw bone.
What to Expect
If you need a bone graft procedure before you receive a dental implant, here’s a glimpse into what the procedure will entail. With a bone graft, the bone either comes from another area of the body or, more commonly now, a special bone grafting material is used. Either way, the material is grafted onto the jaw bone. The patient will then wait for several months while the area heals and the jaw strengthens. After healing, the dentist will determine whether the area is ready to support an implant.
Dental Implants at Smiles Dental
Ready to replace a missing tooth? Looking for a durable, long lasting, natural replacement? Whether or not you need a bone graft in order to receive an implant, we’re here to help! Give us a call to set up a consultation and you’ll be on your way to a brand new smile.