Bone grafting is a common adjunct procedure to dental implant surgery. What is it? Who needs it? And is it completely safe? My patients ask these common questions every day. Keep reading to find out more!
Many patients who have a missing tooth and want a dental implant to replace it, also have significant bone loss in their jaw. This can make it more challenging to place an implant when the bone isn’t strong.
Fortunately today we have advanced techniques in bone grafting that allow doctors to build a strong bone structure that can support a permanent dental implant. I have extensive experience in bone grafting procedures, and it’s a part of many of my successful dental implant procedures.
Who Needs Bone Grafting?
There are several reasons why a patient might be experiencing bone loss. Often, simply as we age our bones shrink or resorb.
Another cause for bone loss is losing a tooth – when there is no tooth or dental implant held in the bone, the bone will degenerate. This is why it’s important to get a dental implant as soon as possible after losing a tooth.
Bone loss can also occur with a localized infection or gum disease. Also trauma to the tooth such as an injury or accident can contribute to losing bone.
For patients who want a permanent dental implant to replace a missing tooth – if they do not have adequate bone levels they will need to undergo a bone grafting procedure to ensure the stability and longevity of their dental implant.
Don’t worry though! Not having enough bone will not prevent you from getting the dental implant you want. I see patients every day who have low bone levels and I’m always able to build up their bone to place a stable dental implant.
Bone Grafting Procedure
What’s the bone grafting procedure like prior to dental implant placement? I promise – it’s easier than you think! It’s a minor treatment that is common in my practice.
First I apply a local anesthetic, and then make a tiny opening where the bone graft is needed. Then I gently place the bone grafting material in the site next to your natural bone, and add a protective covering to stabilize the site. Lastly, I suture the area with stiches which will be in place for 7-10 days.
Most patients take about 3-6 months to fully heal. I will monitor you during this time to ensure you are healing properly. The next step is getting your dental implant!
Are Bone Grafting Materials Safe?
The technology behind modern bone grafting materials is both safe and effective. Years ago, patients would have to have bone removed from another part of their jaw or body which would require additional surgery.
Today, bone grafting materials can be used in place of your own bone. While you’re in your healing process, the graft material is intended to act as a scaffold and be replaced by your own new bone.
Bone grafting materials today are made with the highest standards of safety and quality. They are biocompatible grafting material which will integrate into your body harmlessly. Bone grafting materials have been used safely in millions of patients and procedures.
Do I Need Bone Grafting Before My Dental Implant?
The only way to learn more about whether you’ll need bone grafting as part of your dental implant procedure is to be evaluated by a dental implant specialist. If you do need a bone graft, it’s an easy procedure that will enhance the success of your dental implant in the long term.
Call us today to schedule your complimentary consultation to learn more and answer all your questions about dental implants and supplementary procedures like bone grafting. Our expert team is here to help you make the best decision for your health – and make it work with your finances!
We see patients from all over the Bay Area, CA including the South Bay, Peninsula, East Bay, North Bay and San Francisco in our central Los Altos location on the border of Mountain View, Sunnyvale, Cupertino and Palo Alto.