If you are all ready to get dental implants, you may be dismayed to hear that you need to have bone grafted into your jawbone first. Since bone grafts can come from the hip bone of a patient, this may add another sore spot you have to worry about when healing. Some people are dismayed to hear that they need a graft because it may add additional waiting time before surgery and additional healing time. However, you shouldn't be dismayed if this is what your dentist recommends. Take a look at why a graft may be needed and how it can help in the long run.

Why Some People Need Grafts and Others Don't

People need grafts when the jaw bone is too weak to support an implant. Certain diseases, like diabetes, and certain lifestyle choices, like smoking, can cause the jaw bone to weaken over time. If you have periodontal disease, it may have not only affected your gums, but your tooth and bone as well. Even if you have no health problems, you may have a weak jawbone if you've been missing a tooth for some time. Without a tooth root to stimulate the jawbone, your body no longer produces signals to supply nutrients to that area, meaning that the bone can deteriorate.

A Graft Can Lower the Risk of Implant Failure and Injury

Again, if a jawbone is too weak or too thin, then it cannot support an implant. If you tried to get the implant done without the graft, then there would be a greater risk of infection. If you tried to chew with your implant, for example, you'd be in a lot of pain because the jawbone wouldn't adequately support the pressure. Since two rounds of surgery is probably not what you have in mind, it's better to build the jawbone back up first than risk implant failure. 

The Graft Can Help Improve Your Appearance

While not as important as reducing the risk of implant failure, one great benefit of a graft is that it can improve your appearance. When tissue is grafted onto the jawbone, it may help to fill out any concave areas you may have had in your cheeks. A graft could also improve the width and height of your jawbone.

Discuss Your Concerns with Your Dentist

If you aren't keen on a graft from your hip or you don't want to wait for a graft, talk to your dentist. You do have options. While grafting bone from your own body is better since it eliminates the risk of tissue rejection, you could opt for a different donor. For instance, synthetic grafts, bovine grafts, and cadaver grafts can be used. If you don't want to separate your graft and implant procedure, see if you can get them done at the same time. If you don't have issues with healing, then sometimes dentists can put the implants and grafts in at the same time.