Is a bone graft required for dental implants?

A foundation of adequate bone is an absolute necessity in order for a dental implant to be successful. Patients need to have sufficient bone to support osseointegration at the implant site. Bone grafting can help these patients get access to their desired treatment. In fact, as your oral surgeon determines the prognosis for your future implant, certain specific criteria will be considered:

  • Is the available bone dense and thick enough?
  • Is the bone deep enough?
  • Is the bone wide enough?

If the proposed location for a dental implant is deemed inadequate in any way, a bone graft may be required in order to improve the quality of the surgical site. By augmenting an area of the jaw with natural bone from your own body (the hip or the jaw, when possible), the condition of the implant site can be made more suitable to host an artificial tooth.

Common Conditions Requiring Bone Grafting

A bone graft or bone augmentation procedure is not always the rule of thumb, but there are a number of factors that can increase your potential need for this type of adjunctive procedure. For example, patients who have postponed their decision to replace a missing tooth may find that significant bone loss has occurred as a consequence of the previous tooth loss. This deterioration can leave the empty space unsuitable for an implant. A foundation of adequate bone is an absolute necessity in order for a dental implant to be successful.

Other circumstances like congenital birth conditions, previous injuries, and advanced gum disease can leave the bone less likely to support dental implants.

Certain locations within the jaw are more likely to show signs of thin or insufficient bone. The upper molars, for example, are typically located near the floor or bottom of the upper sinuses. As the sinus is a hollow space in the skull, the surrounding bone may not be deep enough or dense enough for a long-lasting implant. Your surgeon may opt to augment the area prior to placing the implant in order to improve the success rate of the procedure.

Some patients may be reluctant to agree to bone grafting because it does tack on a few months to the treatment timeline. However, if it is recommended in your case, the bone graft and corresponding recovery period will be a good investment of your time so that you can get the most out of your dental implants. Bone grafting is not always required for dental implant placement, but in cases in which this procedure is indicated, it can help to significantly improve the patient’s chances of good treatment outcomes.

Only your surgeon can determine the need for a bone graft, often with the use of special imaging technology. For a professional recommendation, call our skilled team to schedule a consultation today.