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How Does Bone Grafting Work?

Dental implants are an incredibly effective solution for replacing missing teeth. Following a successful implant procedure, patients are able once again to talk, smile, and eat with the confidence that they did before their tooth loss. The procedure requires a healthy mouth and sufficient bone structure. Decay or disease must be addressed before undergoing the procedure, and a bone graft may be necessary to build up the jawbone.

The first step in a bone graft procedure is to obtain the graft tissue. This normally comes from bone in another part of the patient’s body, but it can also come from donors, animals, or be made synthetically. During the procedure, the gums are temporarily lifted from the underlying bone. The graft tissue is then attached with a screw or a special dissolving membrane to the bone. The gums are sutured back into place over the newly-placed tissue and the site is left to heal.

When are bone grafts necessary?

Patients who lack a strong and healthy bone structure will require a bone graft to build up the bone before an implant can be placed. If a tooth is replaced soon after it has been lost, the jawbone is usually sufficiently strong as it has not been affected by disease. However, if a significant amount of time has passed between the loss of a tooth and the attempt to replace it, it’s more likely that jaw health will have declined – without having to support a tooth, the jawbone gradually weakens and deteriorates, making a bone graft necessary.

If you have missing teeth and are considering having dental implants placed, contact our office today for a consultation.

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