Is a bone graft required for dental implants?
Bone grafting treatments commonly precede the placement of dental implants but grafts are not always necessary. While bone grafting is common, some patients’ dental implants will stabilize without extra tissue. On the other hand, bone grafting can increase the likelihood of a dental implant’s success – especially if the site of implantation is located in an area prone to having thin or narrow bone mass. Determining whether a patient needs a bone graft is a careful process because every person’s needs and anatomy vary.
Why is bone mass important?
Our jawbones are incredibly important to our general oral health, the health of our biological teeth, and our implantable prosthetics. Bone is the foundation for teeth and since dental implants replace the roots of teeth, the density and thickness of our jawbones matters. In fact, dental implants cannot function properly unless bone fuses to its titanium structure. These are a few of the reasons bone grafting is common place among people receiving dental implants.
Why do we lose bone tissue?
Sometimes, bone is lost to age and disease. Osteoporosis, for instance, can affect bone density. For the most part, however, people lose bone when/if they lose a biological tooth. This is because the roots of teeth no longer keep that particular area of bone stimulated. Without stimulation, the body will resorb tissue.
Does bone tend to be less dense in particular areas?
Yes, there are certain areas of the jaw that are more likely to need extra bone than other areas. This is particularly true for the upper jaw because of the sinus cavities and along the curved areas of both jawbones. Sometimes, a person receiving a bone graft may not have sparse tissue caused by bone loss; they just might need extra bone to support an implant because of its intended placement.
If you have questions about dental implants or bone grafting, call our office to reserve a consultation with our oral surgeon.