My dentist did bone grafting because I am going to get two implants to support my denture. My dentist has done hundreds of implants over the past 10 years, but my bone graft failed. That’s why I said I am going to get two implants. When he first placed the implants, they failed. My dentist says the bone is too thin. I am a little afraid and frustrated while waiting for my mouth to heal before I get more grafting and finally implants. Although I trusted my dentist, should I have seen a specialist? Is it too late? – Thank you. Joseph from TN
It is doubtful that an implant dentist with advanced training, an oral surgeon, or a periodontist would have the same difficulty with your bone graft and implants.
Is Your Dentist Negligent?
Your dentist does not seem to be neglecting your oral health. Consider a few facts about bone grafting for dental implants and what we think based on your case description.
- Your dentist is taking precautions and trying to give you good care instead of proceeding with your denture.
- Bone grafting can be challenging. Although your dentist is experienced with implant placement, his bone grafting experience may be lacking.
- Any dentist who is learning a new technique or who does not have much experience will make more mistakes than a specialist.
How Long Does It Take for Dental Implant Bone Grafting to Heal?
Both your bone graft and implants must heal before you receive your final denture.
- After you receive dental implant bone grafting, it will take another three to four months of healing before receiving dental implants.
- And after implant placement, it will be several more months before you receive your final denture. You will wear a temporary denture while you wait.
You have spent several months waiting for implants and a denture. You can think about the pros and cons of continuing with your dentist for care and decide if it is worth the wait.
You Can Ask for a Referral
No doubt your dentist will understand your concern. Although he thinks that your results will be fine, you can ask for a referral to an oral surgeon with dental implant experience or a periodontist (gum tissue and implant specialist) if you are hesitant. A specialist’s skill decreases the risk of bone grafting or dental implant failure.
David Finley, DDS, a Monroe, LA fellow of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, sponsors this post.