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Is a Bone Graft Always Necessary with Dental Implants?

One of the most important qualifications for getting dental implants is to have enough bone mass in your jawbone. Since dental implants are supposed to serve as the roots of your teeth, they need enough bone mass that can support them fully. If your dentist discovers that your jawbone doesn’t have enough bone mass and density to support your implants, they’ll recommend you to have a bone graft. But is a bone graft always necessary with dental implants? This article answers this question.

What’s Bone Grafting in Teeth Replacement?

A dental bone graft is a bone material harvested from other parts of your body, animals, or a donor and embedded into your jawbone to add volume. A bone graft harvested from your body is referred to as an autogenous graft, while the one obtained from a donor or human tissue bank is referred to as an allograft. A bone graft obtained from animals is known as a xenograft. In some cases, this bone graft may be artificial (alloplast).

A dental bone graft is like a platform on which your jawbone tissue will be cultivated and regenerated. Sometimes your dentist will include platelet-rich plasma in the bone grafting procedure for faster healing and regeneration of bone tissue.

Is a Bone Graft Necessary with Dental Implants?

A dental bone graft is only necessary when there isn’t enough density in your jawbone or your jawbone has been completely damaged by an infection, chronic disease like cancer, or an accident. Otherwise, you don’t need a bone graft if your jawbone has enough density and it is healthy and strong enough to support your implants. If your jawbone is weak or receded and you don’t get a bone graft before going for dental implants, you run the risk of losing your expensive implants after a short while because they aren’t fully supported.

The other benefit of getting a bone graft is that it restores your jawbone to its natural form, especially after trauma, tooth loss, infections, or chronic disease. Your dentists or oral surgeon will recreate your jawbone using a bone graft to restore your facial structure and create enough base for your dental implants. However, bone grafting will prolong the time it takes you to get dental implants because you have to give it time to heal and integrate with your jawbone. The healing period takes between 3 and 9 months, depending on the condition of your jawbone and the size of the bone graft.