While tooth replacement with dental implants is a standard, routinely performed procedure, some patients may need to undergo additional treatment before they can get implants. One of these procedures is bone grafting. If you are thinking about getting your missing teeth replaced with dental implants and you’re wondering if you need a bone graft, then read on. This article explains everything you need to know about bone grafts and why they are needed in implant dentistry.
What is a Bone Graft?
According to the American Academy of Implant Dentistry, an implant is a screw-shaped fixture inserted into the jawbone and serves as an artificial root. Dental implants are made from titanium alloys, which are safe for use inside the body and possess a unique capability that allows them to form intimate contact with the surrounding bone. This process, called osseointegration, enables an implant to get firmly anchored within the bone and provides a solid foundation for the attachment of artificial teeth such as crowns, bridges, or partial dentures.
When is a Bone Graft Needed?
The success of tooth replacement with dental implants depends on their ability to form direct contact with the surrounding jawbone to gets firmly anchored. Over time, the implant becomes embedded within the jawbone and provides a sound foundation for the artificial teeth’ attachment. According to the American Academy of Implant Dentistry, a bone graft is needed when insufficient volume or density of jawbone is available to support an implant firmly - and the artificial teeth attached to it.
When a bone graft is inserted into a deficient bone site, it forms a connection with the surrounding bone. In some cases, dentists also use growth factors to promote new bone formation in the region. Bone grafts gradually promote bone formation and restore optimal bone density and thickness in the region - to firmly embed and support a dental implant.