Will Your Dental Implant Require a Bone Graft?

Dental implants have made cosmetic dentistry one of the most popular ways to modify the human body. Most people are familiar with hip and knee replacements, but tooth replacements happened much earlier, in 1952. Dental implants didn’t become popular until the design included the titanium “root,” which is placed into the bone forming the jaw.

phoenix_dental_healthBefore dental implants, dentures were the only choice for people who broke teeth or developed gum disease. “While dentures are still available, dental implants are more like your own teeth,” says Dr. Carol Ford from her cosmetic dentistry office in Phoenix. “Your first choice is always to retain your own teeth, but in some cases, that’s not possible, and dental implants become necessary,” Dr. Ford adds.

Dental implants can be singular or multiple. They can replace teeth broken by trauma or a surgically removed tooth. The important question the dentist will help you answer is “Do I have enough bone to hold the implant?”  Implants become embedded in the jaw and create a strong bond that provides support for the man-made tooth that fits onto the implant.

If you don’t have enough bone available to hold the implant, the website Medic8 explains, bone grafts are possible: “The actual bone grafting procedure is much more straightforward than you might think. Bone grafting will only take place after your dentist has assessed the quality and quantity of the bone in your jaw and found there is not enough to continue with a dental implant. Next your dentist will discuss the different types of bone graft with you and decide which will be the most suitable for you.”

There are two common types of bone grafts—using your own bone or using artificial bone. Your own bone usually comes from your hip or jaw. Artificial bone, which can come from a variety of sources, is sterilized and tested to create a safe graft and placement for your new tooth.

“Whether or not you need a bone graft, a dental implant can give you a natural look and feel, make eating enjoyable and brighten your smile.” says Dr. Ford.

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