If you have lost a tooth or two, a dental implant is the only method of replacing both the root and crown. Whether you are missing a single tooth, multiple teeth, or an entire arch, you can enjoy a nearly perfect replica of your natural smile. Your first step to replacing your missing teeth is having a dental implant consultation. Your dentist will conduct a visual examination and review a CT scan to ensure you’re a candidate for the procedure. Don’t be alarmed if your dentist recommends a bone graft before your placement surgery. Although it will add another step to your plan, here’s why you might need bone grafting.
Bone Density is Vital for Success
A dental implant is unique because it mimics both the root and crown. A titanium post is surgically placed into the jawbone to act as a root. An abutment is connected to the post to attach a custom-made restoration. The long-term success of the procedure relies on your bone fusing to the post through a process called osseointegration. After your bone has integrated with the post, it can remain in place for decades with the right maintenance to benefit from unmatched support and stability.
Most patients with good oral and general health can get dental implants; however, it’s not uncommon to require bone grafting. You can lose up to 25% of your jawbone’s density within the first year of missing a tooth. Your bone will continue to deteriorate because it isn’t being stimulated by the root.
Thankfully, a dental implant can stop bone loss by replacing the root. If your CT scan reveals you don’t have adequate bone density, you can still benefit from dental implants. Your dentist will recommend bone grafting to enhance the thickness of your jaw. It can also be used along with a sinus augmentation for patients with insufficient space between the bone and maxillary sinuses, which are located above the back upper molars.
Bone Grafting Before Dental Implants
Bone grafting is a surgical procedure that uses bone from another area of the body or a donor. Your implant dentist will use a local numbing agent and sedative, so you won’t feel any pain as your gum tissue is opened and the graft is placed on the weakened bone. Your tissue will be sutured closed and you’ll begin the healing process.
It will take several weeks for your bone to integrate with the graft. Although your journey to a complete smile may take a little longer, it is time well spent to ensure your investment serves you for decades.
About Dr. Gus Bal
Dr. Gus Bal earned his dental degree from Boston University Goldman School of Dental Medicine before continuing extensive training in dental implants and sedation dentistry. He has been voted “Best Dentist in Scarborough” for the past 4 years because of his commitment to excellence. If you are interested in dental implants, choose a dentist you can trust. Contact our office today to request your consultation.