Dental Implants And Bone Grafting: What's The (Essential) Relationship?

Dentist Blog

Dental implants are artificial tooth roots. The implanted portion is a small titanium alloy screw, placed in your jawbone. As soon as the bone heals around the implant, a prosthetic tooth (made of porcelain) is attached. The appeal of a dental implant is its natural appearance, and because it's the only artificial tooth that's actually anchored in the jaw (and so has the same bite force as a natural tooth). It's as natural a tooth as dental science can offer, but that offer depends on the strength of your jawbone.

Without Density

Adequate jawbone density is mandatory for receiving a dental implant. Without density, the bone tissue that regenerated around the implant lacks the mass to withstand the bite pressure experienced by the prosthetic tooth. The implant would loosen, and eventually detach. This process is extremely unpleasant for the patient. This is why pre-implant bone density is such an important factor. But isn't the density of your bones one of those things that are fixed and unchanging?

Bone Stimulation

If you need a dental implant, chances are you've lost a permanent tooth. The bite pressure experienced by your teeth stimulates the jawbone that contains your dental sockets, which in turn contains your teeth. This physical stimulation to your upper (maxilla) or lower (mandible) jawbone helps to maintain these bone tissues. When a tooth is lost, the bone immediately around the empty socket loses some height and width. This is because this particular section of bone no longer supports any bite pressure. Fewer nutrients are directed to the site, and this is a natural process. However, this process must be reversed prior to implantation.

Bone Grafting

Loss of bone mass is addressed with bone grafting. This involves minor oral surgery on an outpatient basis, with a local anesthetic. The work is performed at a dental clinic, and you'll go home afterward. Essentially, your dentist adds suitable grafting material and leaves it to heal, during which time the grafting material integrates with your jaw. It then densifies to a level that can support the biomechanical force experienced by a dental implant. 

Several Materials

There are more options for bone grafting than you might expect. In fact, your dentist may combine several materials to create the best formulation for your specific case. Synthetic grafting materials are readily available and easy to work with. This material is referred to as alloplastic and contains a high concentration of hydroxyapatite. This is an inorganic mineral that's naturally present in human bones. Human bones themselves are another option. Allograft bone material comes from human donors and is similar to post-mortem organ donation. 

Your new artificial tooth root demands a solid foundation, and this is why pre-implant bone grafting might be part of your treatment plan.


26 April 2023

Dentistry for the Whole Family

Do you have a different doctor from your spouse? Does your child see a pediatrician? Most families have different medical health providers for different members of the family. This makes sense in most cases, but did you know that you can find a dentist who will treat every person in the family from a baby to a senior? I'm a manager or a family dentist, and in this blog you will learn why a family dentist is a great idea. I will tell you the many advantages of taking every family member to the same dentist, and I will give you tips of finding the right dental office for your family.