Dental implants are the most comprehensive solution to tooth loss to date, but that doesn’t mean everyone can receive them right off the bat. In some cases, especially for older patients, additional treatments are needed before implants can be considered a viable option. Rushing treatment is never recommended for implants. If proper planning is not taken into account, the failure rate for implant placement can go up significantly.
To learn what types of bone grafts are available and the situations that call for them, you’ll want to read this post from an oral surgeon in Chicago prior to your consultation.
What is a Bone Graft?
Dental implants require a substantial amount of bone in order to be placed successfully. They specifically require alveolar bone, which is responsible for creating a stable foundation for existing teeth. The moment teeth are removed from the jaw, this bone begins to resorb back into the body where it’s more likely to be utilized. Implants work to replace the root and prevent this resorption from occurring, which is why it’s always better to get implants soon after extraction.
In the event that too much bone has resorbed back into the body, a bone graft can be performed to kickstart bone growth inside the tooth socket. After additional bone is placed inside the socket, the area will be given several months to heal and integrate with your jaw naturally. Once enough bone has developed, oral surgeons can revaluate your eligibility for implant placement.
Common Types of Bone Grafting
Generally speaking, there are two types of bone grafting performed: autografts and allografts. Autografts are when a surgeon uses bone from the patient’s body, while allografts make use of bone from either living or deceased human donors. Autografts are considered to be the gold standard in dentistry, however, allografts are ideal for those with a limited supply of domestic bone material. For example, those suffering from osteoporosis, a condition in which bones become weak and brittle, may need an allograft.
When You May Need a Bone Graft
There are three common situations where a bone graft would be appropriate. Bone grafts may be most suitable for:
- Patients who have had lower or upper front teeth extracted. The bone is naturally thin in this area and may require additional support before placement is possible.
- Patients who have been missing teeth for several years, resulting in the bony ridge of the jaw becoming too thin.
- Patients whose sinus cavities interfere with areas that need implants
Regardless of the type of implant you need placed, you’re going to need a thorough examination and implant consultation performed before treatment can begin. To get started planning your dental implant placement or learn more about your options, schedule an appointment today!
About the Author
Dr. Firas F. Katabi earned his DDS degree from the Case Western Reserve University and his specialty training in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at the Lincoln Medical Center at the Weill Medical College within Cornell University. He’s received three different board certifications with the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, the National Dental Board of Anesthesiology and the American Board of Oral Implantology/Implant Dentistry. To learn more about his practice, you can contact him through his website.