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Dental Bone Grafts: Are you a Candidate?

Closeup portrait female health care professional, dentist, holding showing panoramic dental X-ray, consulting woman patient having toothache.Dental implants are a wonderful way to improve your appearance and outlook because they function almost exactly like your natural teeth. But more importantly, implants can improve your overall dental health. However, the first step to getting an implant may be a dental bone graft. In fact, statistics show more than half of implants require grafting.

Why a Bone Graft May be Necessary

The implant process means a titanium post is placed in the gum tissue and into the bone to function like the root of the tooth. The metal post is then topped by a crown. Although the process may sound simple enough, dental implants require a solid foundation, the jawbone.  Unfortunately, as soon as a tooth is lost, the alveolar bone, which is the part of the jawbone where the teeth are located, begins to lose some of its mass.  Loss of bone mass means a weaker foundation and often requires a bone graft.

How Grafting Works

Grafting material, whether a synthetic product or bone from another part of the body, is used to spur bone regeneration. The material is applied to the jawbone, and eventually, new bone growth will replace the grafting material.

Not all bone grafts are the same.  How long the process of bone strengthening will take depends on how much of the jawbone has deteriorated. When the jawbone needs only a little bit of help, the bone grafting procedure will be relatively minor and it is occassionally possible to proceed with the placement of the implant immediately. However, with weaker jawbones — or situations where you want to implant multiple teeth —it may require several months for the graft to do its job. Rushing the process can undermine the success of the implant procedure and possibly cause permanent periodontal damage.

Why You Might Be a Candidate

Implants, and thus bone grafts, may be a great option for several reasons:

  • They can help your other natural teeth and stay healthy and in place. Otherwise, bordering teeth can shift into the gap of the missing tooth.
  • Implants can help keep your jawbone intact and from further weakening.
  • Implants may be an option if you are dissatisfied with partial dentures.
  • They can be an option if your dentures are uncomfortable.
  • If your missing tooth is in an obvious location which affects your appearance and self-confidence.
    Contact one of our six Houston Area Locations

No matter what your reason for considering an implant — and a preceding dental bone graft — good general health is essential.  Contact us today to schedule an in-depth consultation so you will have the facts you need to make an informed decision.

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