Dental implants are a great investment to achieve a picture-perfect smile. If you are dealing with missing teeth, dental implants can restore your look, giving you back the full function of your teeth and the confidence to smile all the time.
But in some cases, getting a dental implant is not such a straightforward process as people may hope. Since dental implants are placed into the jaw bone, the surgeon needs to make sure there is enough tissue there to accommodate the new implant. And if there isn’t, a bone graft may be necessary.
When a tooth has been missing for a while, the bone area right below can suffer damage because it is not properly used. When you chew and apply pressure on the gums and jaw, you are allowing proper blood flow to the area, keeping everything in a perfect balance.
Over time, this causes the jaw bone to become thinner, to the point where there may not be enough jaw tissue left to properly support a dental implant.
To address this problem, a bone graft might be necessary. It’s a type of surgery that will essentially help restore bone mass in the area, creating the perfect stage to support a dental implant.
Bone grafting is done by using the patient’s own bone, most often sourced from another spot of your jaw, so that the patient will only have one incision to promote faster healing. The surgeon takes a piece of bone and places it in the affected area. Since it’s your own tissue, the body will then begin to heal itself.
But, there are also other types of bone grafting, such as by sourcing bone from another source of your body, cow bone, or even synthetic bone. This will greatly depend on your specific case, and which option gives you the best results.
Yes. You will need to heal fully from the bone grafting surgery before you can get the dental implant inserted into the jaw bone. The timeline greatly depends on how much bone mass needs to be restored, with large bone grafts needing as much as 3 to 6 months to fully heal.
This is on top of the average timeline for dental implant surgery, which already comes with a healing period of 4-6 months before the crown can be attached to the implant.
If you are wondering if you are a good candidate for dental implant surgery, The Art of Dentistry is here to help you access the best treatment plans to restore the full look and function of your teeth.
Schedule a consultation with Dr. Kory Kirkegaard to get started!