Bone Graft Before Dental Implant Placement

Dental Implants San Jose, CA

Some patients need bone grafts to make them eligible for a dental implant. The Implant process has emerged as one of the most popular ways to replace a missing tooth. Many people prefer implants over other oral prosthetics like dentures and bridges.

However, not everyone qualifies for dental implants. Patients have to go through a thorough evaluation before they are cleared for the treatment. The patient's medical history, habits and jawbone density are carefully evaluated before a person is deemed eligible for the procedure.

How bone tissue affects the placement of a dental implant

Bone tissue density is particularly important when positioning implants since the prosthetic is placed directly in the jaw. Any areas where the patient's jawbone density is low might not be able to hold the implant in place. Most people have healthy quantities of jawbone tissue until they lose a tooth. When this occurs, the area of the jaw that once held the missing tooth in place begins to break down. Tooth replacement options like implants and bridges do not address this bone tissue loss so replacing a lost tooth with either does not solve the problem. The longer a person lives with a missing tooth, the more bone tissue they lose.

Generally speaking, about 1 mm of bone tissue is required on all sides of an implant. More bone tissue is needed if the implant is next to another prosthetic or a tooth. The depth of the patient's bone tissue is also important since the implant needs to be fully submerged. The risk of the implant going in too deep and striking a nerve is increased when the person's jawbone tissue does not have enough depth. When a patient lacks the bone tissue needed, bone tissue grafts are often performed.

Different types of bone grafts

Bone grafts involve adding bone tissue or comparable materials to increase the volume of tissue in a person's jaw prior to the installation of dental implants. The procedure can take up to three months for recovery, and the patient needs to be fully healed before the installation of implants can proceed.

There is a lot of variety when it comes to the different types of bone grafts used by dentists. Most fall under one of the following categories:

  • Autografts: These are taken from other areas of the patient's body
  • Allograft: Bone tissues are taken from a genetically similar animal
  • Xenograft: Bone tissues are taken from a genetically different organism
  • Synthetic: Artificial bone tissue-like materials that are made from biocompatible materials are used

The type of bone graft the dentist decides to go with depends on a number of factors such as the health of the patient. The amount of additional bone tissue required is another consideration when choosing the category of bone graft to use.

In some rare cases, bone grafts are placed during the installation of the implant. Although many patients prefer this option, other factors do not always allow for it.

Need a bone graft for a dental implant?

Patients who require a bone graft before receiving a dental implant often have a number of questions. Stop by our San Jose clinic to learn more about the procedure and to find out what you need to do before getting an implant.

Request an appointment here: or call Almaden Valley Smile Design at (408) 827-9480 for an appointment in our San Jose office.

Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: Dental Implants in San Jose, CA.

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