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Do You Need a Bone Graft for a Dental Implant?

In the United States, there are now more than 199,000 dental practices throughout the country. Together, they employ more than 1.1 million people who help us maintain good oral health. The United States dental market now earns above $172 billion in a typical year.

The dental industry continues to create new procedures that help us maintain our dental health. However, some of these procedures are not available without the right preparations. You may need a bone graft for dental implants and other dental processes.

But what are the factors that affect whether or not a bone graft will be necessary for you to receive a dental implant? What else do you need to know about bone grafts to make a savvy decision about your dental care?

Read on to learn all about the most vital things to understand about bone grafts and when you might need one for your dental implant!

What Is a Dental Bone Graft?

Dental implants need to be anchored as strongly as possible to your jawbone. As a result, they are not always a viable option for people who have lost a lot of bone in their jaws. That is where a bone graft procedure can come in handy.

With a bone graft, you can add extra robustness to your jaw, preparing it for dental implants and other serious dental procedures. But what exactly is a dental bone graft, and how can it provide your jaw with the strength it needs for a dental implant?

Dental bone grafts involve adding an extra piece of bone to your jawbone. In other cases, your dentist might decide to use an artificial material for the same purpose.

Once the natural or artificial bone is grafted onto your jawbone, your jawbone will begin to grow around it. This helps create a thicker volume of bone in your jaw, making it stronger.

The Dental Implant Placement Process

Before you can receive a dental implant, your dentist will examine your dental history. They may find certain facts about your dental history that disqualify you from a dental implant.

However, if they do not, they will proceed to recommend dental X-rays or other techniques to get a clearer picture of the state of your jaw and teeth. With the information gained through these techniques, your dentist can then come up with a plan that will lead to an effective dental implant.

However, at this point, your dentist might confirm that your jawbone lacks the necessary volume to provide an anchor for your dental implants. In that case, your dental implant process will be delayed. In the meanwhile, you and your dentist will work on using a bone graft to prepare your jaw for future dental implants.

After the bone graft process is complete, you will need to wait for several months until your jaw is recovered.

In some cases, your recovery process might be shorter or longer depending on how large your bone graft is. In general, the larger your bone graft, the longer it will take for your jaw to finish integrating it.

Once your body has fully recovered, you can proceed with the dental implant process.

However, this is only possible if you can receive a bone graft in the first place. In some cases, a bone graft procedure is not a viable option for someone. So what makes someone a good candidate for a bone graft procedure?

Who Is a Candidate for Bone Grafting?

The whole point of a bone graft is to provide a jaw that lacks sufficient bone volume with greater bone volume. However, if a jaw has an especially small volume, it may not even be enough to integrate a graft.

That can rule out the possibility of a bone graft, which can also interfere with the dental implant process.

In other cases, someone might have enough jaw volume for a bone graft, but they may have other health problems that keep a bone graft from being possible.

If someone is struggling with diabetes or an autoimmune condition, that may make it too difficult to proceed with a bone graft.

It is also important that people be able to recover sufficiently after a bone graft. Smoking can interfere with the healing process. If someone cannot manage to quit smoking for their bone graft, it might be better to avoid the procedure altogether.

Why Is Bone Grafting Sometimes Necessary?

But why do jaws lose enough volume to require bone grafts in the first place? In many cases, tooth loss can lead to bone volume loss in the jaw as well.

When people chew, the pressure on their teeth gets transferred down to their jaws as well. This consistent pressure on the jaw provides it with the necessary stimulation to maintain strength and volume.

However, if someone has been missing one or more teeth in a certain area for a while, that part of their jaws might also have gone for a long time without much stimulation. Left alone for long enough, this can lead to jawbone volume loss and require a bone graft procedure to correct.

Know if You Need a Bone Graft for Dental Implant Procedures

If you have ever wondered if you need a bone graft for dental implant procedures, we hope we have answered your questions. Understanding more about the bone graft process can help you prepare for it and decide if it is the right choice for you. In some cases, nothing less than a bone graft will be enough to help you restore your oral health.

To learn more about how you can find the best dentist for your dental care needs, reach out and get in touch with us here at any time!