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What Are the Types of Bone Grafting for Dental Implants?

Successful dental implant placement requires sufficient jawbone volume because your bone is the foundation for dental implants. When a tooth is missing, your body resorbs the surrounding bone and uses the minerals elsewhere in the body. If you have experienced jawbone shrinkage, you may need bone grafting to build up the bone before you get dental implants.

What Are the Types of Dental Implant Bone Grafting?

Types of bone grafting for dental implants include your bone, tissue-bank human bone, animal bone, mineral bone, and synthetic bone manufactured from proteins in the body.

Graphic model of a dental implant in the bone with natural teeth on either side
Bone grafting helps healthy bone tissue grow and interlock with dental implants
  • Your bone (autograft) – Your chin, hip, jaw, or tibia can be a source of bone for grafting into your jawbone. Harvesting bone from another site requires surgery. Some implant dentists or oral surgeons harvest tibia bone in the office while you are under IV sedation. Harvesting bone from your hip requires hospitalization. Autografts are the most effective bone grafting because your body adapts quickly.
  • Tissue bank human bone (allograft) – Reputable tissue banks supply human cadaver bone. Tissue bank grafting is less expensive than autograft. Although tissue banks screen donors, you will have the risk of infection from donor tissue, as with a blood transfusion.
  • Animal bone (xenograft) – Sterilized animal bone—most often from a cow—minimizes the risk of infection. Your body absorbs the bone over time and replaces it with your bone.
  • Mineral bone substitute (alloplast) – Next to bone harvested from your body, synthetic bone is the safest means of grafting. Your body will eventually absorb and replace the bone with your bone tissue.
  • Recombinant gene technology-derived protein – Proteins naturally found in the body are used to manufacture bone synthetically. The protein is FDA approved as an alternative to an autograft.

How Long Is Dental Implant Bone Graft Healing Time?

The bone grafting healing period can take four to nine months, depending on the graft used and how your body reacts to it. After it heals, your dentist or oral surgeon will perform dental implant surgery. In some cases, such as with tooth extractions, you may receive bone grafting and implants on the same day. Your implant dentist will explain your options for bone grafting and the outcome you can expect.

Rocky Hill, Connecticut dentist Dr. Thaddeus Michalski, sponsors this post.

How Can I Find Affordable Implants for My Pop-Up Denture?

I got a bum pop-up denture from a dental school. I won’t say which school it came from, but now I know I should never have gone the cheap route. The bottom denture pops up whenever I move my tongue, yawn, or cough. I press it back down, and it pops up again. I want to be furious, but I am disappointed with myself for choosing the school. I don’t have much money, but neither am I broke. A friend recommended his dentist, but I chose the dental school figuring the instructors were supervising and I could get a good deal. Now I need affordable implants to hold the denture down. Where do I start? – Thomas from NJ

Thomas – Thank you for your question. We are glad that you are seeking professional advice before getting dental implants. Please begin by avoiding looking for a bargain or the cheapest implants.

How Can You Get Affordable Implants for an Existing Denture?

You may find affordable implants for an existing denture by scheduling a consultation with a skilled implant dentist. The dentist will examine your denture to determine why it lifts and whether the dentist can fit it for implants. Depending on the condition and quality of your denture, a dentist may be able to refit it, or you may need a new denture.

Qualifying for dental implants

Diagram of lower-jaw dental implants with a denture hovering above themBefore placing dental implants, a qualified implant dentist will take a 3-D CT scan to see your oral anatomy and bone volume. If you have worn dentures for years, you may have some bone shrinkage. The dentist will determine whether you have enough bone volume or need a bone graft to support the implants. You will get a customized treatment plan to ensure the dentist places your implants precisely and the dentures fit the implants securely.

Getting Dental Implants that Fit Your Denture

After implant surgery, you will wear temporary replacement teeth. In three to four months, your jawbone and implants will fuse. Your implant dentist will take impressions of your mouth to ensure your existing or new denture fits your implants securely.

Expect to pay well for high-quality dentures and implants. Thorough, well-planned implant-supported dentures take time and skill. With patience and a good implant dentist, your frustration will change to satisfaction when you receive a stable, natural-looking smile.

Schedule a consultation with one or two advanced implant dentists to discuss your options and how to make treatment affordable.

Dr. Thaddeus Michalski, a Rocky Hill, Connecticut dentist and Diplomate of the International Congress of Oral Implantologist, sponsors this post.


What Can I Do About a Loose Dental Implant?

My dentist placed three implants in January, and now one of them is loose. I am concerned about what went wrong and am losing trust in my dentist. What options might a dentist give me for fixing a loose dental implant? Thank you. Manal from Seattle


Thank you for contacting our office. Although Dr. Michalski would need to examine your implant, we can explain factors that affect treatment for a lose implant.

What Can You Do About a Loose Dental Implant?

If your dental implant is loose, you should promptly contact your implant dentist, oral surgeon, or periodontist. Your doctor will examine the implant parts and gum tissue and take a 3-D CT scan of your bone to identify why your implant is loose. Your doctor will recommend treatment based on the cause of the loose implant.

Why Get Prompt Treatment for a Loose Implant?

You should get prompt treatment for a loose dental implant because it is a threat to your oral health. Without treatment, an infection can develop and worsen. If there is any chance of saving the implant, delaying treatment will result in dental implant failure. Implant parts include an artificial root, an abutment (connector), and a dental crown. Although dental implants have a 95 percent success rate, an untreated loose implant will fail.

What Causes a Loose Dental Implant?

Faulty implant parts, gum disease, implant location, failed osseointegration (fusion of the implant and bone), and other factors can contribute to a loose dental implant. But you will need an exam from your doctor to determine the culprit.

  • Implant quality, type, or size – Faulty design of the artificial root or abutment or using the wrong implant type or size can weaken and loosen it.
  • Implant location – If an implant is not in the optimal place, it can loosen.
  • Insufficient torque – If your doctor does not sufficiently secure the implant in your bone, it can loosen.
  • Lack of bone volume – Areas of low bone volume will not support an implant.
  • Gum disease – Diseased gum tissue destroys bone tissue and leaves implants without support.
  • Stress on the implant – Prematurely attaching replacement teeth to implants can loosen them. Also, failure to maintain a soft-food diet can disturb implant sites and cause looseness.
  • Failed osseointegration – Implants will be unstable if the jawbone and implant do not fuse.

What Is the Treatment for a Loose Dental Implant?

Model of a lower molar dental implant surrounded by natural teethTreatment for a loose dental implant depends on the cause of looseness. Your doctor will examine the implant site and take a 3-D CT scan to examine your bone structure. Your treatment may include:

  • Implant removal
  • Gum disease treatment
  • Bone graft
  • Three to four months of healing
  • Replacing the implant, possibly in a new position
  • Alternative treatment

A skilled implant dentist can restore your oral health and help your dental implants succeed with proper planning.

Dr. Thaddeus Michalski, a Rocky Hill, Connecticut dentist and Diplomate of the International Congress of Oral Implantologist, sponsors this post.

Considering Dental Implants in Rocky Hill

dental implantsUntil dental implants came into common use during the 1960s, dentures or bridges were the only options people had for replacing missing teeth. Although these are both aesthetically attractive, they could not offer a long-term solution for tooth loss. These types of prostheses can only be expected to last five to 10 years before needing to be replaced. However, with dental implants, Rocky Hill dentist Dr. Thaddeus Michalski provides a permanent solution for missing teeth.