If you are debating whether dental implants are ideal for your mouth, you are likely wondering about bone grafts. Bone grafts can make the procedure more complicated and costly yet they might be necessary to provide adequate support for your dental implant. Furthermore, bone grafts will also extend the length of time it takes to perform the procedure. It might take upwards of three to six months to complete the entire procedure and return your mouth to complete functionality. Bone grafts are clearly a major consideration in the context of dental implants.
When Bone Grafts are Recommended
If the bone lacks the height or width required for a dental implant, your dentist will almost certainly recommend a bone graft. Though it is possible to simply put an implant in a space with minimal bone, this might not actually help. What most people do not understand is the placement of the implant in such a situation will backfire by compromising the implant’s foundation across posterity. The surrounding bone is the foundation in question. Dental implants are subjected to considerable forces on a daily basis. If there is not a solid foundation, there will be the potential for problems.
Proceeding Without the Bone Graft
If the bone is tall and wide enough for a dental implant, the dentist will proceed without the bone graft. There is no need for the bone graft if such a foundation is in place. As long as the dentist believes the dental implant will stay firmly in place when biting hard foods and subjected to other pressure, he or she will have the confidence necessary to proceed with the placement of the implant without extra support.
The Issue of Gum Disease
Though most people experience at least a slight level of gum disease at one point in their life, this does not mean a bone graft will be necessary for the dental implant. What matters most is whether gum disease has eliminated a portion of the bone that supports the teeth. Loose teeth, teeth that seem longer and/or a portion of the tooth that appears rough or yellowish are all signs of gum disease. If you notice any of these signs, you might have gum disease that has led to bone loss. However, if no such signs are present and the dentist is certain you do not have significant gum disease, he or she will proceed with the dental implant placement without bone grafts. Otherwise, the dentist will consider the use of a bone graft to support the dental implant(s).
The Tooth Loss Timeline Also Plays a Role in Whether Bone Grafts are Necessary
If you lost your teeth years ago, the body will have had ample time to resorb the bone that supported those chompers. In general, if are within six months of losing the tooth prior to the scheduled dental implant procedure, you probably will not require a bone graft as much of the supporting bone will probably still be in place.
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