Dental Implants and Bone Grafting
Dental implants are a popular tooth loss treatment. Dental implants replace the roots of a missing tooth and provide a stable anchor for dental restorations such as dental crowns, bridges, and dentures. While many people are ideal candidates for dental implants, some need additional treatment to promote dental implant success.
Patients may require bone grafting before dental implant treatment. A bone graft strengthens the jaw bone so it can support dental implants. Dentists at 38th Street Dental in Austin, TX, are happy to help patients understand when bone grafting is necessary, what to expect during the procedure, and how it increases dental implant success.
Is Bone Grafting Always Required Before Dental Implant Treatment?
Bone grafting is not always necessary before dental implant treatment. As long as our Austin patients have sufficient bone density to support and fuse with implants, dental implant treatment can proceed without a bone graft.
When Is Bone Grafting Necessary?
Bone grafting is necessary when bone tissues are insufficient to support dental implants and promote treatment success. Bone grafting is most commonly needed for patients who have suffered long-term tooth loss.
Extended tooth loss frequently leads to bone degeneration because bone tissues rely on a tooth’s roots for stimulation. When a person bites or chews, the tooth’s roots stimulate the jaw bone and promote new tissue growth. The longer a tooth socket sits empty, the more likely that bone tissues will weaken or be lost.
Even if a missing tooth is replaced with a dental bridge or dentures, bone loss can occur. Traditional bridges and dentures sit above the gum line and replace only the crown of a missing tooth. Since these restorations don’t address the loss of the tooth’s roots, they do not stimulate the gums or encourage tissue growth.
Bone grafting is also often necessary when a patient’s teeth are extracted. After extraction, a bone graft may be placed to prevent bone loss.
What to Expect During a Bone Grafting Procedure
A bone grafting procedure allows our Austin patients to address bone loss and strengthen the jaw so it can support dental implants.
During the procedure, incisions are made in the gums above the area of bone loss. Incisions grant access to the underlying bone and allow a graft to be placed. Bone grafts may be collected from other areas of the patient’s body or they may be composed of synthetic or donor material.
After placing a bone graft, it is often covered by a protective, biocompatible membrane. Incisions are then closed, and the healing process begins. Generally, patients heal from a bone graft for three to four months before proceeding with dental implant treatment. During this time, the graft fuses with the jawbone.
How Bone Grafting Increases Dental Implant Success
When dental implants are placed, they fuse with surrounding bone tissues to become a permanent part of the jaw. This process, called osseointegration, is vital to dental implant success. Osseointegration can only occur if there are sufficient bone tissues to support and fuse with dental implants. Bone grafting strengthens the jaw to allow implant placement and increase the chance of successful osseointegration.
Contact 38th Street Dental
Bone grafting makes dental implant treatment possible for people who have suffered bone degeneration. If you want more information about bone grafting or dental implant treatment, dentists at 38th Street Dental can answer your questions. To schedule an appointment, contact our dental practice at your earliest convenience.