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Why You Might Need a Bone Graft to Get Dental Implants

July 27, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dr. Stutman's Office @ 6:36 am
A dentist explaining how dental implants work

Today, dental implants are the “gold standard” of tooth replacement. That’s only natural –  they have unique benefits compared to dentures or bridges. Even so, not everyone qualifies for these prosthetics at first. Some patients will need a bone graft before dental implant treatment. Without the former service, one’s new teeth won’t work like they should. Your Massapequa Park dentist can explain if you’d like to learn more. To that end, here’s why your dental implants may require a bone graft beforehand.

What’s a (Dental) Bone Graft?

In essence, a (dental) bone graft is a surgery that inserts bone tissue into your jaw. Its main function is to increase your jawbone’s density and thickness.

Most of the time, the bone added by the grafting process comes from another body part. Dentists will typically place it within the extracted tooth’s socket. From there, the graft will promote bone growth and healing that strengthen your jaw.

Why Would You Need One to Get Implants?

To be honest, implants need dense bone tissue for support. They can’t be placed or properly fuse with your jawbone otherwise. If a dentist attempted to force treatment anyway, the result would be severe implant failure.

Unfortunately, extended tooth loss erodes the jawbone. The condition weakens your bite, depriving your jaw of the stimulus to maintain itself. As such, many patients who need implants lack jaws strong enough for them.

However, a bone graft can actually solve this dilemma. It makes your jawbone dense enough to handle implants. From there, placement surgery and fusion would likely succeed.

How Do You Know if a Bone Graft is Needed?

Maybe you don’t know whether your jaw is too weak for implants. (Fair enough – most people aren’t experts in jawbone erosion.) Still, you can do a few things to see if a bone graft would be helpful.

One approach is to assess your odds for bone resorption. In particular, consider whether these risk factors apply to you:

  • Advanced Age – The older you are, the more prone to bone resorption you’ll be.
  • Gum Disease – A gum infection can erode jawbone tissues.
  • Bad Oral Habits – Smoking increases the chance of bone resorption.

All that said, the way to settle the bone graft question is to see your dentist. They’ll examine your jaw with X-rays or CT scans for a better view. The dentist can confirm if a bone graft suits you based on the resulting jawbone measurements.

Ultimately, a bone graft before dental implant treatment is sometimes necessary. That being the case, talk to your dental provider to see if you need one yourself.

About the Practice

South Shore Dental Care is based in Massapequa Park, NY. Led by Dr. Dory Stutman, our practice offers comprehensive dentistry that meets your unique needs. In particular, we perform preventive, cosmetic, and restorative services, as well as orthodontic work. That means you can trust us for the best dental implants possible! For more information or to book a visit, you can reach us on our website or by phone at (516)-798-3808.

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