Missing teeth and complete edentulism are serious problems affecting many Americans. Around 178 million people have lost at least one permanent tooth, while approximately 40 million adults have no remaining teeth.

Dental implants are an excellent solution for missing teeth. However, a thick, dense jawbone is essential to successfully fuse with the metal implant post and provide a stable foundation for the attached abutment and dental crown.

If your dentist determines you have insufficient jawbone, they may prescribe bone grafting surgery. Find out when bone grafting is necessary and how the procedure works.

Why Bone Grafting is Needed

Bone grafting is a critical starting point to ensure the success of dental implant surgery. It’s essential for several reasons, setting the stage for effective oral restoration.

  • Insufficient bone volume. Dental implants require a specific bone density and height level to ensure stability and security. If the jawbone is too thin or shallow, it may be unable to support an implant. Thin jawbone in the upper (maxillary) jaw may also lead to sinus perforation.
  • Tooth loss. Tooth loss can result in deterioration and reabsorption of the surrounding jawbone. The likelihood of bone loss around the tooth increases the longer a tooth is missing. Patients with missing teeth for several years may need a bone graft to supplement the remaining bone tissue.
  • Periodontal disease. Advanced periodontal or gum disease can lead to bone loss. The bacteria responsible for causing gum disease can affect the bone tissue supporting the teeth, possibly requiring bone grafting to rebuild the lost bone structure.
  • Trauma or injury. Injuries or accidents to the face and jaw can cause bone damage. In these cases, bone grafting can be necessary to repair the damaged area before dental implants can be considered.

How Bone Grafting is Done

Bone grafting is a surgical procedure that involves adding bone material to the affected area and facilitating the growth of new bone. The bone grafting procedure is a multi-step treatment that includes:

  • Evaluation. Your dentist or oral surgeon will assess your situation with X-rays and CT scans. This evaluation will determine the extent of bone loss and suitability of bone grafting.
  • Material selection. Choosing the right bone graft material depends on your overall health, available bone, and personal preferences. Different sources of bone graft material include your own bone (autograft), a donor bone (allograft), or synthetic materials (alloplastic grafts).
  • Surgery. On the day of the procedure, your dentist will make an incision at the grafting site. A growth matrix and graft material are then added to the affected area.
  • Healing and osseointegration. Over the next few months, your body will naturally integrate the graft material and stimulate new bone growth. The newly added bone becomes the foundation for dental implants during this phase.

Restoring Your Foundation

Bone grafting is a crucial step in ensuring the long-term success of dental implants. It provides the necessary bone density for secure implant placement, making it possible for patients with varying degrees of bone loss to enjoy the benefits of dental implants.

If you’re considering dental implants, consult with Aurora Dental Group at (630) 896-7354 to determine whether bone grafting is the right solution to help restore your smile. Bone grafting for dental implants can help you achieve a beautiful, lasting lifetime smile.