In order for patients to benefit from long-term stability of dental implants, they must have adequate bone tissue to support osseointegration, the process in which the jawbone tissue forms a strong bond with the titanium implant. The bone loss that follows tooth loss can compromise this process. Fortunately, an oral surgeon can help patients overcome such deficits with bone grafting.
Overview of Bone Grafting
When performing a bone graft, an oral surgeon will take tissue from a donor site and insert it at the implant site to supplement the available bone in the area. The donor tissue may come from elsewhere in the patient’s body, such as the chin or the hip, or from a cadaver, animal or synthetic source.
In the weeks that follow the bone graft, the jaw will take up the donor tissue and incorporate it into the existing jaw structure. After that process is complete, the oral surgeon can then move forward with dental implant placement.
In addition to supplementing the bone tissue available for osseointegration, bone grafting may also restore facial structures that appear to be “sunken in” as a result of the bone loss, such as the upper lip or cheek.
Bone grafting does extend the treatment timeline of dental implants by a few months, as the implants cannot be placed until the graft tissue has been accepted. However, this investment of extra time is quite worthwhile, as it drastically reduces the risk of premature dental implant failure.
Many patients will be able to move forward immediately with dental implant placement without the need for bone grafting. Your surgeon will be able to determine the appropriate course of treatment in your case after your initial evaluation.
Bone grafting can help patients achieve dental implant success, even if they’ve already experienced tooth loss, which can often be a barrier to dental implant placement. To learn more about the benefits of bone grafting and when it is recommended, call our office to schedule a consultation.