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What is bone grafting and why do we need it for dental Implants?

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Dr. Gilbert performs comprehensive facial reconstruction. This includes all aspects of the facial skeleton (bone) and soft tissue complex (muscles, fascia, skin, etc.).

Bone grafting is a procedure to rebuild missing bone or to augment existing bone structures. The jaws are a common area in need of bone grafting and especially the tooth-borne area of the jaw called the alveolus.

When you need to replace a missing tooth and your dentist recommends you get a dental implant, you’ll probably be directed to an oral surgeon. The first question your oral surgeon will seek to determine is if you have the adequate bone mass to support the implant tooth. If it’s decided that you don’t, you’ll need a bone graft before the implant can be placed. Read on to find out why.

Why do I need a bone graft?

Dental implant placement requires sufficient jawbone mass and structure. Without enough support, dental implants can fail or have trouble fusing with the jawbone. An implant’s complete integration with the jaw is a crucial part of the stability and permanence that implants provide.

Bone grafting is a routine procedure that approximately half of the dental implant patients require before having an implant placed. The most common reasons our patients need bone grafting before implant placement include:

  • Long-term missing tooth — As soon as a tooth goes missing, your jawbone begins to atrophy.
  • Large or low sinus cavities — We use bone grafts in conjunction with sinus lifts (Bone grafting to the floor of the sinus to increase vertical dimension) to help restore the bone height needed for implant placement.
  • Missing front teeth — Bone grafts help the thin walls of front teeth socks regenerate.
  • Trauma or infection — When your jawbone suffers trauma or infection, a bone graft repairs the resulting defect.

Jawbone Health

The moment you lose a tooth, the alveolar bone that anchors that tooth begins to deteriorate and your body reroutes minerals elsewhere. It has been documented that you can lose as much as 50% of the bone volume at a missing tooth site in as little as 3 months. Much like your body needs exercise to remain healthy, your jawbone requires regular stimulation, but this is lost when a tooth goes missing and can no longer perform the simple yet important job of chewing. It’s the movement produced by chewing that stimulates the jawbone and keeps it healthy. Much like muscles, “you lose it if you do not use it.”

Jawbone loss means you could encounter not only inadequate bone mass and support for implants but also possible:

  • Complications with your face
  • Facial aging and Skin wrinkling
  • TMJ pain and headaches
  • Collapsed facial structure
  • Nutrition and speech issues

What is bone grafting?

Bone grafting is a very common procedure in which we place donated bone (or your own bone taken from another site in your body) into the area that needs bulking up. Your body naturally grows new bone as your jaw heals during the next several months, and the donated bone grafts develop into your own bone over time.

Wondering what to expect from a bone grafting surgery? Check out our blog next month to find out!

Inland Institute Oral & Maxillo-Facial Surgery proudly offers the highest level of oral and maxillo-facial surgical care in the Upland area. In addition to implementing the latest technologies into our treatments, our passion for patient care allows us to provide only the best bone grafting experiences. For more details on what it means for us to build the foundation of your dental implants with a bone graft, please give us a call! Inland Institute - Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Office Phone Number 909-982-8888

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Dr. David Gilbert

Please call our Upland CA office at (909) 982-8888 with any questions or

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