My family dentist completed implant training 15 years ago and has done hundreds of implants since that time. So I agreed to let him do two implants for me. After the CT scan, my dentist said I needed a bone graft. He did the graft, but during surgery, he saw that the bone wasn’t thick enough, so he did not do the implants. Now I am waiting for healing again, but I have no implant. My dentist’s office called to ask when I want to schedule bone grafter surgery for the late summer, but I am nervous. Could this happen again? Thank you. Mike from Wyoming
Unfortunately, your experience is not unheard of among dentists who have implant training but are not highly experienced with bone grafting. But we are not criticizing your dentist because he saw the problem and did not place the implant.
When Dental Implant Bone Grafting Fails
When dental implant gone grafting fails, it could be due to the dentist’s technique, the material used, your body’s response to the graft, or other factors. But to increase the risk of success, you should get a second opinion from any of these professionals:
- An experienced implant specialist
- An oral surgeon
- A periodontist (gum specialist),
What to Expect During a Bone Graft Procedure
During a bone graft procedure, your implant dentist or surgeon will do the following:
- Make an incision in your gum tissue to expose the bone
- Place grafting material where bone buildup is needed
- Secure the graft material with mesh, pins, plates, or screws
- Some specialists promote healing with platelet-rich plasma (PRP) or platelet-rich fibrin (PRF)
- Stitch the incisions
After a few months, the graft should heal. And your implant dentist will move forward with surgery.
Schedule a Dental Implants Consultation
Schedule a consultation with an implant dentist or a dentist who partners with an oral surgeon or periodontist. Discuss your concerns about bone graft and the recent graft failure. And ask the dentist how they will handle your case. If needed, schedule another consultation with another dentist to ensure you are comfortable with your treatment options.
Accredited Fellow of cosmetic dentistry, Dr. Brian LeSage of the Beverly Hills Institute for Dental Esthetics, sponsors this post.