Ask the Implantologist: Do I Need a Bone Graft?

In the event that a patient doesn’t have the adequate amount of bone structure for dental implants after they have lost a tooth, a dental surgeon may have to harvest the patient’s native bone to increase the bone volume in these areas.

As part of a patient’s implant treatment process, the insufficient bone volume may present a stumbling block. This is due to the implant screw needing a solid structure to bear the pressure of daily oral function.

The Initial Consultation and CT Scan are Key to this Question

The initial consultation has vital importance in establishing a proper diagnosis and creating a suitable treatment plan for each patient.

During your consultation, our implantologists will go through your medical and dental history, discuss your expectations, and undertake a clinical observation of your mouth and adjacent areas. Your CT scan will help us understand whether there is sufficient bone volume in order to place the implants, or if a bone graft is required. The CT scan is essential to creating an accurate treatment plan which will minimise the chance of hidden costs.

The difference between normal x-rays, such as a panoramic x-ray, and CT scans is that typical x-rays are presented in 2D and therefore don’t allow the assessment of bone volume. Meanwhile, CT scans are tridimensional images, which enable a comprehensive assessment of bone presence. This includes the analysis of vital structures in the surrounding areas and pathological areas. In layman terms: without a CT scan, the implantologist cannot tell if a patient has enough bone, if they need a bone graft and ultimately whether or not they are a candidate for dental implants.

  • A patient’s tooth was extracted without a socket graft placed in immediately for a new implant or a re-implantation of a tooth.
  • An instance where a patient has suffered a lot of bone damage & loss from a tumour, infection, or cysts.
  • There could be a situation where a patient’s jaw bone area was congenitally missing which would result in damage to the normal bone structure that would be in place to support the tooth which never fully developed.
  • Dental trauma can also cause a patient to have significant bone loss.

Different Bone Grafting Techniques to Support Specific Needs

In the event that a patient doesn’t have the adequate bone structure for dental implants, there are several bone grafting techniques that can restore bone condition, allowing the implantologist to place the dental implant.

Each technique used is dependent on the type of bone defect, the quantity of bone to be restored and the location of the bone defect. During the initial consultation, the implantologist will discuss with you your bone condition in the area where implants are intended to be placed and, if a bone graft is necessary, what is involved and what technique will be employed.

Geistlich BioMaterials

Used for 95% of bone grafting procedures at our practice, Geistlich are market leaders in biomaterials for regenerative dentistry. Primarily, we use Bio-Oss and Bio-Gide in our bone grafting treatments.

When used tandem, Bio Oss and Bio Gide provide long-term implant survival rates and positively aesthetic results for Marylebone Implant Centre patients. Ask our team about the benefits of biomaterials in bone grafting treatments!