Bone Grafting for Dental Implants: What You Should Know By Steven P. Thompson on February 05, 2018

In order for a dental implant to thrive and be successful for a lifetime, it must be completely encased in healthy, dense bone. In some cases, patients may be deficient in bone tissue, which can impede the success of their implant procedure. At Imagecare Dental in Plano, TX, we perform bone grafting for dental implants, including ridge preservation, ridge augmentation, and sinus lifts. Here, we will explore scenarios when bone grafting is necessary, discuss the different types of bone grafting, and briefly define the different methods of this procedure.

digital illustration of the bone grafting process

When is Bone Grafting Necessary?

A lack of bone density can be caused by a number of reasons. Some patients are simply born with insufficient jawbone tissue. Others may lose bone density due to trauma. In many cases, however, bone structure is compromised by periodontal disease, damaged teeth, or difficult extractions. When considering dental implants, bone grafting is necessary whenever there is not enough jawbone to appropriately house the implant post.

Different Types of Bone Grafting Material

There are several types of bone grafting material available. Previously, surgeons had to use the patient’s own bone, and transfer it to the areas where they were deficient. This can still be performed today when appropriate. However, in many cases, bone grafting material is simply obtained from a licensed tissue bank. Depending on the specific need of the patient, the material can be harvested from human or animal sources.

About Ridge Preservation

If you require an extraction prior to implant placement, a ridge preservation graft is almost always recommended. When the tooth is removed, the remaining socket can collapse in if a bone graft is not used to fill the void. Placing a bone graft will help ensure that there is a solid foundation for the implant when it is time for the placement procedure.

About Ridge Augmentation

A ridge augmentation is performed to increase the density of the jawbone. This is typically necessary when teeth have been missing for prolonged periods of time. Those who have experienced significant bone atrophy over the years may not be eligible for dental implants without a ridge augmentation.

About Sinus Lifts

Similar to a ridge augmentation, a sinus lift prepares the maxillary jawbone for dental implants. If the upper molars have been missing for a while, the sinus cavity can potentially drop down and invade the space once occupied by the natural teeth roots. Of course, you would not be able to place dental implants in this scenario, as the posts would penetrate the sinus. However, a sinus lift can effectively raise the membrane, add bone density to the jawbone, and prepare the site for implants.

After Bone Grafting

No matter what type of bone grafting procedure you may need, it will require a few additional months of healing. It can take some time for the bone to properly integrate. However, once your healing period is over, your implants can be placed, and you will be well on your way to the healthy, functional smile that you desire.

Learn More about Bone Grafting for Dental Implants

If you are considering dental implants, but have been told that you do not have enough bone, a grafting procedure may be the solution for you. To explore your options, schedule a consultation at our practice. You can call us at (972) 618-5000 or contact us online.

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Imagecare Dental Group

At Imagecare Dental Group, we are uniquely equipped to handle all your dental needs in one location. Dr. Thompson is affiliated with several leading organizations:

  • Academy of General Dentistry
  • North Texas Dental Society
  • International Congress of Oral Implantologists

For more information, schedule a consultation online or call (972) 618-5000.

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