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Bone Grafting for Implants

Do I Have Enough Bone?

  • After tooth extraction, if the walls of the socket are very thick, they will usually fill naturally with bone in two to three months.
  • However, when the walls of your socket are very thin (such as in your upper and lower front teeth), this type of healing will not be as predictable.
  • In these situations, a bone graft is often 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.

  • 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 for up to six months.
  • After the graft has fused to your pre-existing bone, the ridge will be re-entered and the implant placed.
  • Bone grafting is usually a relatively comfortable office procedure.
  • Many different bone-grafting materials are available, including your own bone.

  • You may also need bone grafting if the sinus cavities in your upper jaw are very large, or very low, and extend into the tooth-bearing areas.
  • This often occurs when teeth in the back of a person's upper jaw have been removed many years before, and the amount of bone available for implant placement is limited.
  • A "sinus grafting procedure" is then required. Most often, it is performed in the office with local anesthesia and perhaps sedation.
  • During this procedure, the membrane that lines the sinus will be located and elevated.
  • Bone will then be added to restore the bone height and ensure that dental implants of an adequate length can be placed.
  • This procedure often can be performed at the time of implant placement.