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Do I Need a Bone Graft Before Getting an Implant?

Feb 13, 2023

Do I Need a Bone Graft Before Getting an Implant?

Did you know that bone grafts are sometimes a necessary first step for those who want to get a dental implant for a missing tooth? Find out if you need bone grafting to ensure your implant is sturdy and healthy.

So you’re ready to get your implant. Great! Missing teeth can really cause problems in your day-to-day life. You may have heard about bone grafts and are wondering if one of these is necessary before getting your dental implant. 

At Ueno Center Dental Specialists, we offer a number of oral health treatments from dental implants to gum surgery. We also offer bone grafting but only for those who need it. Not every implant requires a bone graft. 

Jeremy K. Ueno, DMD, our founder, and the other providers at our office determine on a case-by-case basis who needs bone grafting and who doesn’t.

Bone grafting and dental implants 

These are two different procedures, but they often go together. A dental implant is an artificial tooth that replaces a tooth that has been lost due to injury, neglect, or other reason. A bone graft is a procedure that adds the necessary density and support to your jawbone.

Teeth can become lost and your jawbone can become weak or worn down for a number of reasons

Maybe you didn’t take care of your oral hygiene, which affected both the health of your tooth and your jawbone. Or perhaps you knocked out a tooth and left the socket empty for a long time, which can lead to more serious issues. 

Whatever the reason, tooth loss often leads to a loss of bone density in the jaw, but not always, which is why bone grafting isn’t always part of the process of getting a dental implant. 

The best candidates for bone grafting 

When you come to Ueno Center Dental Specialists, our job is to determine if your jawbone is thick, dense, and wide enough to support a dental implant. As we mentioned above, you may have lost jawbone density due to the loss of a tooth or other oral health problem. 

But some people are born with malformed jawbones that don’t have the necessary denseness to support a dental implant. In this case, you might need a bone graft even if you haven’t lost bone density over time. 

And certain teeth, like those in the front of your mouth, are where the jawbone is thinnest, which could make them good candidates for bone grafting.

If we determine you need this kind of extra support, we fill the weakened area of your jaw using grafting material along with natural growth factors to speed up the process of bone growth. Then, after the bone graft has fortified your jaw’s density, we place the dental implant. 

Implants without bone grafting

It’s difficult to determine if you’ll need a bone graft without an examination. We must determine your specific needs before laying out a treatment plan, which includes whether you need a bone graft and if so, what kind. 

Still, dental implants with and without bone grafting are both common procedures. In a 2016 study, 50.3% of the participants needed bone grafting along with their dental implant. 

The only way to be sure if you require bone grafting is to make an appointment. Please call us at our Campbell, California, office to schedule one, and we’ll take care of the rest.