Bone Grafts and Why You Might Need One

You need to replace a missing tooth. You’ve done extensive research, and you’ve decided dental implants are the way to go. But your doctor is saying you need a bone graft first. Why? And what is a bone graft anyway?

Why You May Need a Bone Graft

Dental implant placement requires adequate jawbone mass and structure. Without sufficient bone, dental implants cannot be placed, can fail early or have trouble fusing with the jawbone. For this reason, bone grafting is sometimes necessary before an implant can be placed.

For a routine procedure, bone grafting is required for approximately half of dental implant patients. The most common reasons our patients need bone grafting before implant placement include:

  • Missing a tooth for several months—Your jawbone begins to deteriorate as soon as you lose a tooth or have an extraction.
  • Trauma or infection—This can cause a defect in the bone.
  • Missing front teeth—Because the walls of the front teeth sockets are thin, they often have a difficult time regenerating on their own.
  • Large or low sinus cavities—Bone grafting with a sinus lift may help restore the bone height required for implant placement.

Jawbone Health

Just as gravity is necessary to maintain muscle and skeletal bone health, chewing keeps your jawbone healthy by providing regular stimulation. Without stimulation, your jaw, specifically the alveolar bone that anchors the teeth, will begin to break down as your body sends minerals elsewhere. Unfortunately, this process begins the moment you lose a permanent tooth. In addition to inadequate bone mass for dental implant support, jawbone loss can lead to:

  • Collapsed facial structure
  • Skin wrinkling
  • TMJ pain and headaches
  • Complications with the remaining face
  • Nutrition and speech issues

The Solution

Bone grafting is a very common procedure during which we place artificial bone (or your own bone taken from another site in your mouth) into the area that needs bulking up. Your body naturally grows new bone as your jaw heals during the next several months, and the implanted bone grafts develop into your own bone over time.

Center for Oral Surgery and Dental Implants is proud to offer the highest level of oral surgery and implant care. In addition to the latest treatments and technologies, a genuine passion for patient care allows us to provide only the best bone grafting experiences. For more details on what it means to build the foundation of your dental implants with a bone graft, please give us a call! 813-968-5400