Bone Grafting for Dental Implants: All Your Questions Answered

If you have missing teeth, dental implants could be the solution that restores your smile, as well as your ability to comfortably chew food. While the benefits of dental implants are undeniable, some patients aren’t ready for the procedure right away. 

In those cases, Dr. Reshma Nazir at Smiles N Braces Family Dental first requires patients to undergo a bone graft. Here’s what you need to know about bone grafting for dental implants. 

Regular dental implants vs. bone graft implants

Dental implants have three main parts: a metal rod that Dr. Nazir places into your tooth socket, where it eventually melds with your jawbone; an abutment that screws onto the rod; and a crown placed on top to mimic the appearance of a real tooth. 

For people with strong and healthy jawbones, this standard procedure for dental implants works just fine. For others, however, dental implant surgery might fail if the jawbone is too thin or soft to keep the metal rod in place. If that’s the case for you, Dr. Nazir may want to discuss bone grafting with you. 

Bone grafting involves taking a portion of your own bone from another area (such as your hip) or from a donor, or using synthetic materials, to strengthen a weak bone. In the case of dental implants, that would be your jawbone. 

Dental implant surgery is already a lengthy process with waiting periods, but if you require a bone graft, the process takes a bit longer because you must wait for the bone graft to heal before Dr. Nazir can successfully place the implant rod. 

So essentially, bone graft dental implants are the same as regular dental implants, but with an extra procedure and waiting period before you have the implant surgery. 

How does bone grafting for dental implants work? 

There are a few different types of bone grafts you should know about: 

Dr. Nazir typically uses autograft or alloplastic materials for bone grafting procedures at Smiles N Braces. Bone grafting requires a local anesthetic at the bone harvest site, unless Dr. Nazir is using a synthetic graft for your procedure. She makes a small incision at the treatment site, where she anchors your new bone into place. 

Then, you’re sent home to recover while the new bone fuses to your existing jawbone. The healing phase usually lasts several months — Dr. Nazir provides you with detailed instructions for recovery. Once Dr. Nazir determines that your bone graft is healed, you can come back for the actual dental implant surgery. 

From there, the procedure works just like normal dental implant surgery: First, Dr. Nazir implants the titanium rods and you’re sent home again to heal. Finally, after a few months, Dr. Nazir places the abutment and artificial tooth in place. 

Why would I need bone grafting for dental implants? 

Successful dental implant surgery requires your jawbone to be strong, sturdy, and healthy enough to hold the metal rod in place for years. If your jawbone is soft or otherwise unhealthy or unstable, dental implant surgery may be unsuccessful. To avoid failed surgery, Dr. Nazir would suggest bone grafting first. 

To learn more about dental implants or to schedule a consultation, call Smiles N Braces Family Dental at 925-391-2732, send them a message here on the website, or book an appointment online

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