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For best results and stability, dental implants need a sufficient quantity of good quality bone capable of accepting the placement of the implant. Normally, the lower jaw bone is denser, and therefore tougher, than the softer bone of the upper jaw.
The tissues and bone of the mouth and jaw will begin the healing process immediately following the loss of a tooth, with the tooth socket reshaping itself to compensate for the loss of the tooth. After several months, there can be bone loss in the tooth socket simply from the loss of the tooth.
Ideally, implant placement should be done 6-8 weeks following the loss of the tooth. At this point, the soft tissue healing has taken place, but little bone loss will have occurred. This ideal waiting period also allows infection in the tooth socket to be treated and overcome.
Prior to an implant being placed, the implant site will be carefully examined to determine the quality and quantity of bone available for the implant.
After the examination, there are normally three potential treatment recommendations:
1. If the site shows insufficient bone for implant placement, then bone augmentation (graft) will be done to build up bone for the implant using either donated human cadaver bone or Bio-Oss (bovine derived) bone granules or the patients own donated bone.
Bone grafts have a 25% failure rate and are vulnerable to infection, as well as having the potential to become loose, leading to graft failure. In cases of graft failure, the graft would need to be re-done or an alternative treatment pursued.
It usually requires a 6 month waiting period, following the bone graft, for the patients own bone to grow and allow the placement of the implant.
2. If the site shows only slightly insufficient bone loss, bone grafting and implant placement can be accomplished at the same time. Bio-Oss (bovine-derived bone) and Bio-Gide (porcine- derived membrane) are normally used in this treatment alternative, along with the titanium implant placement.
3. the site shows sufficient bone, the implant may be placed without any bone grafting.
Bone grafting allows for a superior result with dental implants, both functionally and cosmetically. Your bone density and availability examination is essential in determining if bone grafting is necessary for your case.
Bone grafts are relatively small and can utilise the patient’s own bone, irradiated cadaver bone, synthetic bone or bovine-derived bone.
When an implant case requires bone grafting, it is vital that the graft be carried out before an implant is placed, as it can lead to serious problems for the patient. While bone grafting may create a delay in implant placement, it insures that the patient avoids such issues as too-long crowns or exposed implant threads, which require the patient to wear such appliances as a removable plastic gum mask.
For the best long-term outcome, Smile Studios will always recommend bone grafts for implant patients with insufficient bone at the implant site. We believe this thorough approach to implant placement and care ensures superior results.