Bone Grafting for Dental Implants: What You Should Know
Have you looked into getting a dental implant, only to be told you need a bone graft first? This is quite common in many cases. A bone graft procedure is sometimes performed first to ensure the success of the dental implant. It would be in your best interest to follow your dentist’s recommendation in this case.
What exactly is a bone graft procedure? Why do I need one? If you are looking for answers to these questions and more, here’s what you should know about bone grafting and dental implants.
Why do I need a bone graft procedure?
When a tooth is removed, the area of the jaw that once supported it shrinks. The longer the jaw bone remains without a tooth replacement, the more it shrinks. The placement of a dental implant requires adequate bone thickness as a foundation and to allow the implant to be placed in the proper three-dimensional location.
What is a dental implant and how does it work?
To understand why you need good bone structure to receive a dental implant, it’s important to know how an implant works.
A dental implant is a complete artificial tooth and root system. The root consists of a titanium post that is surgically implanted in the jaw bone. It has ridges like a screw to help it stay in place and bond with the existing bone.
If the existing bone is weak, thin, or simply gone, a dental implant cannot be placed. But a bone graft can restore the bone and make an implant possible.
How does a bone graft procedure work?
When the existing jaw bone is inadequate, a bone graft can be used to grow bone. In a bone graft procedure, a bone substitute is surgically placed under the gums, on top of the existing bone. The bone substitute can be artificial, an animal bone, or a bone from another place on your body. The bone graft then bonds with the existing bone to strengthen it, make it thicker, and regenerate your natural jaw bone. Most bone grafts require 4-6 months to heal. Radiographic imaging can show when the bone has reached the required density for an implant.
Is a sinus lift procedure the same as a bone graft?
A sinus lift procedure is a different type of bone graft. A sinus lift is required when a dental implant needs to be placed in the upper jaw. Again, the placement of a dental implant requires adequate bone thickness as a foundation and also to enable the implant to be placed in the proper three-dimensional location.
There are two types of sinus lifts. If there is a great amount of bone loss, the procedure requires a greater amount of bone substitute and the gum tissue must be stretched to cover it. The healing period is usually 6 months or more.
Sometimes a sinus lift can be performed at the same time as placing the implant. This is usually done when the implant can be placed in the proper three-dimensional location, but needs more bone above the implant for an improved foundation.
Dental Implant considerations begin and end at Golia Dental
If you are considering a dental implant, it is important to understand that a bone graft procedure may be required first. A comprehensive examination at Golia Dental is the first step in the process when considering implant restorations. Dr. Golia heads a team that includes the best specialists in the New Haven area.
A treatment plan is drawn up and discussed with you. Referral to the proper specialist ensures that grafting and implant placement is done meticulously. Finally, Dr. Golia restores the implant with a lifelike crown. Proper preparation can make the procedure more successful, ensuring that your dental implant will last as long as it should—hopefully for the rest of your life.