Bone Grafting Before Dental Implants: Who Needs It And How Is It Done?

28 May 2015
 Categories: Dentist, Blog


For many people, the process of getting dental implants is not as simple as it is for others. If there is not enough natural bone tissue for the implants to be placed securely, then bone grafts are often needed at the site of implantation before the implants can be placed. If you are wondering whether you will need them and how the grafting is performed, then read on to learn more about this topic. 

Who Needs Bone Grafting Before Dental Implants?

Since many dental implants are placed where teeth were badly decayed or fell out, then it makes sense that the bone above a tooth that was in bad shape may not be in great shape itself. Also, after a tooth falls out or is extracted, bone loss occurs naturally over time where the tooth once was due to lack of stimulation from chewing. 

This means that if your tooth was in bad shape when it was lost or extracted, then you may need bone grafting before a new tooth is placed. Also, if it has been several years since the tooth was lost or extracted (even if it was relatively healthy when lost), you may have lost too much bone over time in the jaw where the tooth was to hold a dental implant securely without a bone graft placed first. 

How is Bone Grafting Done Before Dental Implant Placement?

Bone grafting can at first sound like a scary thing. However, it is a very safe procedure that most dental surgeons have done many times with great success. First, bone is removed from your own body in an area where its removal will be easiest and have little to no impact on the donor site. For ease of removal, the first areas considered as donor sites are typically other areas of your jaw or your chin.

While these bones are easily accessible through your mouth, which makes them excellent choices for donor sites, other bones can be used if there is a lack of high-quality bone tissue in the jaw or chin. Shin or hip bone is often considered as a second option due to their close proximity to the skin and the ease of removal at these sites. 

Once a good donor site is chosen, the harvesting of the bone tissue from this site and the placement of it in your jaw where the implant will be placed is typically done in the same day. Once the bone is transferred, you then must wait for your own jaw to "accept" this bone before the implants can then be placed. This typically takes at least a few months, although every person heals at their own speed, so exactly how long you have to wait before implants are placed has to be determined by your orthopedist or oral surgeon. 

If your oral surgeon or orthopedist declares that you need bone grafts placed before your dental implants can be put in, don't let this deter you from getting the implants and beautiful smile you have always wanted. Bone grafting is done in the medical world for many reasons all the time, and although it may sound scary, it is very safe and can help you achieve your goal of a great smile.