26 Jun Is a bone graft required for dental implants?
Bone grafting is a common procedure that occurs before a person receives dental implants. A bone graft essentially thickens and widens the jawbone so that it can support dental implants properly. Many times, our bone can atrophy with oral disease and tooth loss. Moreover, the upper jawbone tends to be very narrow because of the sinus cavity’s proximity above it. Bone grafting in either instance can improve the success of a dental implant’s stabilization since an implant’s support is rooted in the jaw. A bone graft is not always required when patients receive dental implants but it is not common for a patient to need one – especially if implants are being placed in the upper jaw below the sinus cavity.
What is bone grafting, exactly?
A bone graft is a procedure that places bone tissue over areas in the jaw where bone is sparse or atrophied. Tissue grafts are common in medical and dental settings. For example, skin grafts are common after burn-related injuries and gum grafts are a common way to address damage caused by periodontal disease. In the case of bone grafts, tissue can be collected from a tissue bank or taken from another part of the body such as the knee or hip. There is some wait time needed between receiving bone grafting and dental implants because it will take time for new tissue to fuse to existing tissue.
How do I know if I need a bone graft?
A physical examination with diagnostics like X-rays will determine if your bone is too sparse for dental implants. A dentist or an oral surgeon can tell by diagnostic images whether additional bone is needed to increase the success rate of dental implantation. If bone grafting is recommended, you will likely visit a specialist such as an oral and maxillofacial surgeon (OMS) for treatment. This is because this procedure requires expertise and precision.
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