When a tooth is lost, the bone that supported it atrophies with disuse. The truth is that the only reason our jaws have the amount of the bone that they do is because of the presence of existing teeth and the fact that those teeth are under continuous function.
Dental implants must be placed inside the bone, so when bone is no longer present it becomes necessary to add a bone graft to the existing bone to increase the thickness and the hight of bone available for the placement of dental implants.
In a bone graft procedure, the surgeon will take a section of bone from another area of your body, or - as is most often the case now - use a special bone grafting material, and graft it onto your jaw bone. You will then have to wait, most likely several months, while the graft creates enough new, strong bone to make sure that the implant will be stable and secure. It is possible if you only need a minor graft that the procedure might be able to be done at the same time as the implant surgery, but your dental specialist will make the final decision. A successful bone graft allows your jaw bone to be strong enough to support your dental implant.
Once the bone graft is complete, the rest of the implant surgery can proceed. As with any surgical procedure, it is important to discuss your personal medical history and all the risks and benefits of the surgery with your dental specialist. Once your doctor decides you are a good fit for the procedure, you can look forward to a brand-new smile.