There’s a good reason why dental implants are becoming the option of choice when it comes to replacing missing teeth — they offer superior stability by mimicking your natural teeth right down to their roots. To ensure this stability, it’s imperative that you have the support necessary in your jawbone to anchor the implant properly, which may require a bone graft.
Here at Innovative Dental Ideas, Dr. James E. Butler and our team of dental implant specialists have extensive experience with dental implants, ensuring that our patients in and around Hilliard, Ohio, have everything to smile about.
If you’re missing teeth and you like the idea of a sturdy dental implant, here’s a look at why you might need a bone graft for your dental implant beforehand, which isn’t nearly as complicated as it sounds (most of the time).
When you lose a tooth, you lose so much more
A missing tooth goes far beyond a gap-toothed grin. When you lose a tooth, whether, through trauma, gum disease, extraction, or tooth decay, you lose much more than you see above your gum line. Below your gum line, you have roots that are anchored into your jawbone, which is living tissue.
When your tooth was intact, your jawbone registered its use and continued to repair and rebuild the bone around your roots to ensure your tooth’s stability, When you no longer have these roots, your body registers the inactivity and ceases to regenerate new bone, which can lead to bone loss.
As well, if you’re missing teeth because of gum disease, this bacterial infection can wreak havoc on your underlying bone structures, compromising their strength. By the same token, if your tooth was knocked out or we extracted it, you may have lost some support bone in the process.
Why a bone graft?
When you come in, we review where you’d like your dental implant, and then we use advanced imaging to assess whether your existing bone is sufficient enough to support the replacement.
The primary benefit of a dental implant is that it performs like your natural tooth because it’s anchored by bone. When we place the titanium post into your jawbone, we rely on this bone to fuse the implant into place.
If you don’t have enough bone to support the implant, we need to take the necessary steps to shore up your bone, which we can do through a simple bone graft.
What’s a bone graft?
Traditionally, a bone graft came from another part of your body. While this technique is still applicable, we may also use a synthetic substance, which comes in several different forms, such as granules, putty, powder, or injectable gels.
The grafting procedure itself is fairly simple — we make a small incision where you want your implant and place the grafting material, suturing the area shut afterward. The hardest part is the waiting, which can take weeks or months for your bone to integrate the graft and become strong enough to support a dental implant.
But your wait is well worth the effort when your dental implant is complete, and you can smile, chew, and talk with confidence and ease.
If you’d like to learn more about dental implants and bone grafting, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at (614) 300-5170 or use the online scheduling tool to set up a consultation.