Sporting an impressive success rate of over 95%, dental implants are the name of the game when it comes to replacing missing teeth! These awesome implants can effectively restore lost pearly whites in terms of look, feel, and functionality. But as great as implants are, in some cases a patient might need a dental bone graft before they can receive them. Here’s more about why this procedure is sometimes needed and a closer look at how it paves the way for dental implant success.
Why Dental Bone Grafts Are Sometimes Necessary
One of the biggest factors contributing to dental implant success is their ability to properly fuse with your jawbone. This critical process is called osseointegration—throughout it, the biocompatible titanium posts of your implants merge with your jawbone for lasting support. But sometimes, a patient that’s set to receive dental implants doesn’t have sufficient jawbone density for them. This is where dental bone grafts come in handy; they’re able to ensure that the jawbone can fully support the implants. Sometimes dental bone grafts can also be used to address advanced gum disease that causes massive bone loss, as well as damage resulting from developmental defects, facial injury, or trauma.
A Closer Look at the Bone Grafting Process
The dental bone grafting process is actually relatively straightforward; it involves your dentist borrowing bone from one part of your body (in this case, usually somewhere in the mouth), and using it to enhance and fortify existing bone matter elsewhere in the jaw. By appropriating and transplanting this healthy bone tissue, your dentist can recreate bone and supporting tissue in areas where it’s missing and bolster your jawbone in preparation for dental implants.
There are a few different types of bone grafts used to prepare one’s jaw for dental implants. The most common type of bone graft is a socket graft, which is meant to prevent bone atrophy as well as the collapse of the socket. Lateral ridge preservation can also be used to increase the width of the jawbone to accommodate dental implants. Sometimes block bone grafts are necessary when there are large defects in the jawbone. Finally, sinus lift procedures are used when patients need implants in their upper jaw, which is usually not stable enough to support implants on its own. Regardless of what type of bone graft you receive, you’ll still have to wait for the new bone matter to fuse with the existing natural bone before you can receive your implants. This process can sometimes take several months—but it’s absolutely necessary.
If your dentist has informed you that you’ll need a dental bone graft before you can get implants, it’s nothing you need to worry about! The procedure is meant to ensure that your future dental implants are able to effectively replace your missing teeth and restore your quality of life.
About the Author
Dr. Jeremy B. Jorgenson has proudly served patients and families in the Costa Mesa area for several years. Dr. Jorgenson received his dental doctorate from the University of Southern California and is an active member of several professional organizations including the American Dental Association and the prestigious Academy of General Dentistry. His practice is pleased to offer many available services including dental implants. If you have any questions about the article or would like to arrange a visit, feel free to contact Dr. Jorgenson through his practice’s website or by phone: (714) 424-9099.