July 25, 2021
If you’re living without any number of teeth, it’s a priority to have them replaced so you can lead a normal and happy life. Undoubtedly, dental implantation is the most effective route to take, but it requires you to have at least 1 millimeter of healthy jawbone. If you’ve suffered bone loss, all hope isn’t lost. A bone graft can prepare you to receive a dental implant. Here’s why the procedure may be required and how it can help restore your smile to normal!
Understanding How Dental Implants Work
A dental implant is a cylinder-shaped titanium post that is surgically attached to the jawbone. Over a period of six to nine months, the implant fuses with the existing bone through a process called osseointegration. The success of the fusion will play a big part in determining the longevity of the implant, and for it to seat properly, there must be adequate jawbone depth.
How the Bone Grafting Procedure Works
Before a bone graft is performed, your dentist will make sure you don’t have any acute oral bacteria growth or gum disease that could compromise your implant down the road. Thus, if there is any infection, it will need to be addressed first.
The grafting procedure involves bone material being taken from another part of your body or a human or animal donor. It is then converted into powder, granules, putty or a gel, and then injected into the treatment area.
While the procedure is a necessary step when there is diminished jawbone mass, it does add to the overall treatment time for implantation. Typically, it takes around three months to heal from the grafting procedure. Given that it will lead to a fully restored and functional smile, it’s well worth the wait.
Why Hesitation Could be a Mistake
Once your dentist informs you that a bone graft is needed, it’s important to move expeditiously. That’s because the longer you wait, the greater the chances of increased bone loss. Ultimately, waiting too long could cause you to miss out on the best way to replace your missing teeth.
The reward for being proactive will be regaining up to 75% of your original chewing capacity, which means you’ll be able to eat all the foods you love and smile with confidence just in time for those summer photos!
About the Author
Dr. David Earnest is a graduate of the University of Texas Health Science Center. Throughout his career, he has remained quite active, completing several hours of advanced postgraduate training. Additionally, Dr. Earnest maintains professional affiliation with the Academy of Osseointegration and International Congress of Oral Implantologists. He replaces missing teeth with dental implants and performs bone grafts at Seguin Dentures & Implants, and he can be reached for more information or to schedule a visit through his website.
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