Bone Grafting for Implants

Do I Have Enough Bone?

Dr. Davis highly recommends that bone graft is placed at the time of tooth extraction to help your body fill in the empty socket with bone. This step will maintain the width and volume of bone you will need for implant placement several months later. Without a graft, the bone walls normally dissolve leaving less bone for implants. The images below show a situation where no graft was placed when front teeth were removed and the bone dissolved. A graft (dark grey area) was required prior to placing implants. An implant may be placed at the time of extraction when the most bone is present if the bone is healthy; a small graft may accompany the implant. 

Inadequate Bone for dental implant
1. Inadequate Bone
Bone Graft Material Placed
2. Graft Material Placed
After Dental Implants Placed
3. Implants Placed

There may be inadequate bone for implant placement if your tooth was removed many years ago and your bony ridge is extremely thin. In this case, a bone graft can be placed next to the thin bone and allowed to heal taking up to six months. After the graft has fused with bone, the implant can be placed. Bone grafting is usually a relatively comfortable office procedure. Many different bone-grafting materials are available, including your own bone.

Inadequate Bone for dental implant
1. Inadequate Bone
Bone Graft Material and Dental Implant Placed
2. Graft Material and Implant Placed

When teeth in the back of a person’s upper jaw have been removed and the bone dissolved over time, the amount of bone available for implant placement may be limited/ This is  because the sinus chamber behind your cheek bones is hollow.  Dr. Davis can perform a  “sinus grafting procedure”  to generate additional bone to allow him to place dental implants in this site. It is performed in the office under local anesthesia. (In the images above, a bone graft fills in the dip in the bone creating more height prior to the implant placement.)