Bone Grafting for Dental Implants
Posted on: September 30, 2021
2 minute read
If you have missing or severely decayed teeth, dental implants can be a permanent replacement to restore your smile, but not everyone is an immediate candidate for dental implants.
One reason why you might not be eligible for dental implants immediately, is if your jaw bone is not large, long or dense enough to anchor an implant in place. This can sometimes be remedied by using a bone graft.
Bone grafting is a common surgical procedure that builds up enough jaw bone to make it strong enough for an implant. Your dentist will give you the information you need to decide whether the procedure is right for you.
Why might you need bone grafting?
A strong and healthy jaw is necessary to support dental implants and provide a stable foundation for replacement teeth.
You might be recommended a bone graft if you have a naturally smaller jaw or if your jaw bone has been significantly damaged or deteriorated due to:
- trauma or injury
- advanced gum disease (periodontitis)
- tooth loss for a long period of time (which causes surrounding jaw bone loss)
What does bone grafting involve?
The first stage of treatment is a comprehensive examination with your dentist and a 3D bone scan. They will examine your mouth and scan your jaw to determine whether there is enough bone to anchor an implant or if bone grafting may be necessary.
Depending on your needs, a bone graft may be provided prior to dental implant surgery or on the same day as receiving your dental implant.
Bone grafting is performed under local anaesthetic or another sedation method, depending on your needs. Options include sleep dentistry (IV sedation) and general anaesthesia. Your dentist may first extract the bone from other areas of your mouth, unless you are using donor tissue. They will then transplant the bone to your jaw and cover it with a membrane to heal.
Where do bone grafts come from?
Bone grafting can use bone material from different sources. The four common options are:
- your own bone (autograft)
- donated human bone (allograft)
- animal bone (xenograft)
- artificial bone (alloplast)
Your dentist will recommend the best bone grafting material for your needs, depending on the amount needed.
Other treatments that support dental implants
Depending on your situation, your dentist might recommend a sinus lift, gum graft or full mouth implant bridge using the All-On-4® protocol. Each of these treatments are unique but serve to support dental implants.
Missing teeth at the back of the upper jaw may cause the sinus cavity to expand into the area where the tooth roots used to be.
A sinus lift involves lifting the sinus membrane back to its original position before filling the cavity with bone graft material.
If your gums have receded due to ageing or gum disease, a gum grafting procedure can restore this missing tissue and aesthetically improve the appearance of your smile. Like bone grafting, a gum graft may use your own gum tissue or a synthetic substitute.
All-On-4® and full mouth implant bridges
If you’re replacing all of the teeth in your upper or lower jaw, or both jaws, a full mouth implant bridge using the All-On-4® protocol can help to avoid or reduce the need for bone grafting and restore your smile within five days.
All-On-4® involves your dentist placing two dental implants at the front of the mouth and two dental implants at the back of the mouth on a 45 degree angle, carefully avoiding nerves and sinuses.
Find out more about bone grafting in Perth
If you’re considering dental implants, book a consultation with Dr David Norcross at Perth Dental Implant Centre today.
- Zhao, R.; Yang, R.; Cooper, P.R.; Khurshid, Z.; Shavandi, A.; Ratnayake, J. Bone Grafts and Substitutes in Dentistry: A Review of Current Trends and Developments. Molecules 2021, 26, 3007. https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26103007