Dental implants and bone grafting don’t always go together, but if you’ve been told that you may need a bone graft for your dental implant to be successful, you may have some questions about the procedure. But before we delve into bone grafts, let’s first take a look at the most common reasons for a dental implant.
Implants are commonly used when a tooth needs to be removed due to decay, or it’s become too damaged to repair due to other reasons such as breakage or trauma. Since a missing tooth has the potential to create other problems in your overall oral health, implants are used to fill the space which helps assure proper alignment of your remaining teeth.
A dental implant will attach to your jawbone through the assistance of a metal support, commonly referred to as an abutment. This prosthetic tooth will have the look and feel of a natural tooth, and can last for decades. In fact, it will look so real that in many instances dental professionals won’t even be able to detect it without the use of an x-ray.
Often times during an implant procedure, a patient will need a bone graft in order to properly anchor the abutment. This can be due to any number of reasons, such as not having enough bone to properly support the abutment due to gum disease, or weak and frail bones. Your dental professional will look at things like the density and thickness of your jawbone to determine whether or not a bone graft is needed. This is accomplished through special imaging technology.
There are two main types of bone grafting procedures that can be used. One is to use a harvested bone from another part of your body, although this is becoming less common with the advent of the second option — artificial bone grafting materials.
A typical dental implant procedure that includes a bone graft can take several months from start to finish since healing time of the graft must be taken into consideration. But in the end, you’ll have a strong tooth that serves the same purpose as your natural tooth!
If you have other questions about dental implants and bone grafting, we’re happy to help! Brooklin Village Dental Care has convenient evening appointments and Saturday appointments to fit your schedule!