When someone wants to replace a missing tooth, there are two popular options. The first is a partial denture and the second is a dental implant. The latter is the most effective and best-looking option, but not everyone is a candidate for implants. However, a dental bone graft procedure can help many of those who may not have been able to get a dental implant before.
Most dental implants consist of a metal base with a cylindrical part sticking out of the gum and the artificial tooth that is fitted to the protruding metal part. The base acts as a root would and keeps the tooth firmly in place. To accomplish this, it is installed into the jaw bone.
If your jaw bone is determined to be overly soft or too thin, a bone graft may be recommended by your dentist. A dental bone graft involves either taking a section of bone from elsewhere in the body or, more commonly, using a bone grafting material to strengthen the jaw. When the jaw is strengthened through bone graft surgery, it allows the base of the implant to stay in place.
Different levels of jaw weakness may require different types of bone graft surgery. A minor bone graft can often be done at the same time as the installation of the implant. If the jawbone requires more grafting, it may have to be done in advance to allow time for the jaw to heal before the installation of the implant.
With successful dental bone grafting, most people will be able to get an implant. While partial dentures are effective, an implant is nearly undetectable in the way it can look and function just like a regular tooth. Even those that have had a partial denture for a long time could be able to swap it out for an implant with the help of bone grafting.