I had an accident in 2012 that left me temporarily paralyzed and with six missing teeth. Last year I finished paying for years of multiple surgeries, hospital stays, and physical therapy. Now that I have improved and the bills are behind me, I am considering dental implants. My online research shows that I probably have a lot of jawbone shrinkage and would need bone grafting before dental implants. With so much bone loss, I wonder if it’s too late for grafting and dental implants. Am I stuck with my partial dentures? Thank you. Justin from MI
Thank you for contacting Bayou Dental Group in Monroe, Louisiana. Many patients share your concerns about qualifying for bone grafting and dental implants.
Is It Too Late for Dental Implant Bone Grafting?
It is not too late for dental implant bone grafting, even if you have extensive bone loss. Dental technology enables implant dentists and oral surgeons to use grafting materials to build up bone and promote growth and healing. According to a May 2021 article on trends and developments in bone grafting, about 50 percent of dental implant patients require a bone graft procedure first.
Your implant dentist will recommend a bone graft material based on your case and their experience. Types of bone graft materials are listed below. Keep in mind that your provider may use only a few of them:
- Your bone
- Donor human bone
- Animal bone (e.g., cow, shellfish)
- Synthetic bone
- Composite bone substitutes
- Growth factor, bone-based substitutes
- Bone substitutes infused with live bone cells
Do You Need a Bone Graft for Dental Implants
You need a bone graft for a dental implant if the bone beneath your missing tooth lacks enough depth to support an implant. Your implant dentist will use a 3-D CT scan to determine bone quality and volume.
Will You Qualify for a Dental Implant Bone Graft?
You may qualify for a dental implant bone graft if the following is true:
- Good physical health, including well-controlled medical conditions such as diabetes
- Good oral health
- Non-tobacco user
- Commitment to promoting bone graft healing by following your dentist’s post-surgical instructions
What Is the Healing Time for a Dental Implant Bone Graft?
According to the Academy of Osseointegration, the healing time for a dental implant bone graft is four to twelve months. Your healing time is affected by these factors:
- Type of bone graft
- Extent of grafting needed
- Your compliance during the healing
Schedule a Dental Implant Consultation
Before choosing a dental implant provider, we recommend scheduling consultations with at least two implant dentists in your area to discuss your options. Look for a dentist with post-graduate training in implantology and experience in cases like yours that require bone grafting.
David Finley, DDS, a Monroe, Louisiana, accredited cosmetic dentist and Academy of General Dentistry Fellow, sponsors this post. Read about what Dr. Finley, Dr. Thompson, and Dr. Coughran do to provide some of the best dental care in Monroe.