Do You Need a Bone Graft for Dental Implants?
When tooth loss occurs, dental implants are often the best treatment option. Dental implants address the loss of both the crown and roots of a tooth, making them the closest replica to the natural teeth.
Unfortunately, if a patient lacks sufficient bone density, dental implants may not be possible. However, when bone density is a concern, individuals can choose to receive a bone graft prior to dental implant treatment. A bone graft strengthens the treatment site so it can support implants. Here, the dentists from Brooklyn Heights Dental, which serves Brooklyn Heights, Brooklyn, and Fort Greene, discuss the potential need for a bone graft prior to dental implant treatment, and what the process entails.
Why Does Bone Density Matter?
When considering dental implant candidacy, one of the first things our dentists look at is bone density. We take x-rays of the jaw surrounding the treatment site to determine if there is enough tissue to support the placement of implants. Bone density is important because it is one of the greatest factors to impact dental implant success.
After dental implants are placed in a patient’s jaw, the tissues are given time to heal before moving on to the next stage of treatment. During this time, the tissues of the jaw are meant to heal, or fuse, around the dental implant. This process is called osseointegration. If significant bone degeneration has occurred, or if the patient lacks substantial bone density, osseointegration may not occur. This would compromise the stability of the implant and ultimately lead to dental implant failure. This is why it is vital that we ensure patients have sufficient bone density before starting dental implant treatment.
Do I Need a Bone Graft for Dental Implants?
Not all patients require a bone graft prior to dental implant treatment. When tooth loss is treated in a timely manner, the patient is likely to maintain enough healthy bone tissue to support dental implant treatment. However, the longer a tooth has been missing, the more likely it is that bone degeneration has occurred since the tissues haven’t received the stimulation necessary to support bone growth. Our dentists perform a thorough exam during a dental implant consultation to determine which of our patients need a bone graft to be considered ideal candidates for dental implant treatment.
What To Expect During Bone Graft Treatment
A dental bone graft may sound scary, but it is a straightforward procedure that has an extremely high rate of success. Further, a bone graft is performed with the patient under the effects of local anesthetic, so most patients report feeling no pain throughout their procedure.
During treatment, a small incision is made in the gum tissues near the future implant site. The area is cleaned and disinfected, and bone graft material is put in place. The bone graft is typically collected from another area of the jaw or body, although it is also possible to obtain bone from a cadaver or animal source. After the graft is placed, the incisions are closed. Over the next several months, the bone graft should fuse and grow with surrounding bone tissues, adding strength and volume to the area so that dental implants can ultimately be placed.
If you have been told that you are a poor candidate for dental implants due to low bone density, you should consider a bone graft. To learn more about this procedure, we invite you to schedule an appointment at Brooklyn Heights Dental. To get started, contact us online or call our practice at (718) 857-6639.