If you're missing teeth or if your teeth are badly damaged and you want to get dental implants, then you might need a bone graft before you get implants installed. It's a very common occurrence among those who have the dental implant procedure. We'll be happy to answer all of your questions during your initial consultation in our office.
What Is A Bone Graft?
When there's insufficient jawbone to accommodate an implant, then you'll need a bone graft. We'll take bone from another part of your body or we can use a bone substitute and graft it into your jawbone. After several months, the transplanted bone will have been absorbed into the body and generated enough new bone tissue to accommodate your dental implant.
Why Would I Need A Bone Graft?
Sometimes, the same issues that cause problems with your teeth can adversely affect your jawbone. When you're missing teeth due to decay, then the bacteria that destroyed your teeth can adversely impact your jawbone and you'll suffer bone loss. This may also adversely affect the structure of your jaw and the alignment of your other teeth, so it's important to address the issue as promptly as possible. Sometimes, medications can cause your bones to deteriorate so that there's insufficient bone to anchor an implant. Common medications that have been associated with bone loss include:
- Antacids that contain aluminum
- Chemotherapy drugs
- Diabetes medications
and many more. If you've experienced trauma to your jawbone, then you might need a bone graft. If you've had one or more tooth extractions and it's been quite a while since their extraction, then your jawbone may have begun to deteriorate due to lack of stimulation and blood flow to the area. Most jawbone loss will occur within 18 months, but it will still continue thereafter. If you've had periodontal disease, then you may have lost a significant amount of bone mass in your jaw due to the bacteria and toxins that are present in plaque and periodontal disease. If you've worn dentures for a long time, then you may have experienced bone loss due to lack of circulation and stimulation in the gum. Tooth misalignment can also cause loss of jawbone density because your teeth may no longer have an opposing surface to apply pressure. This leads to a lack of stimulation and circulation to the cells and the jawbone can begin to deteriorate. Whatever the reason, bone grafts are common among those who have dental implants installed. A graft will extend the overall time needed for your dental implant procedure, but grafts are safe procedures. During your evaluation and consultation, your prosthodontist will advise you if a bone graft is needed.
Where Does The Bone Come From?
Bone can be sourced from a variety of places. Your options can include an animal source, a cadaver source, or a synthetic bone substance. These options are sometimes preferable to using bone from another area of your body because there isn't the trauma of a second surgical site on your body. However, autologous bone is most readily accepted by the body and can be taken from a rib, hip, pelvis, or wrist. It can also come from the chin, another area of the jaw, or the hard palate. The location will depend, in part, on the amount of bone needed.