Sometimes, before you can have an implant placed, a dental surgeon needs to place a bone graft into the site. The bone graft will provide the support a dental implant needs. Under normal circumstances, your bone graft should heal in several months. After that time, your dentist can place the dental implant. But things aren't always as simple as that.
If you are having financial difficulties or other personal problems, then you might not be able to have your dental implant placed just yet. But just how long do you have before you need to place the dental implant? Will your bone graft resorb if you wait too long?
Although you can wait to have your dental implant placed, certain factors will affect how long it takes your bone graft to resorb.
Bone Grafts Take Several Months to Heal
Once your bone graft is in place, it usually takes around 6 months to heal fully. Then, most prosthodontists will place your dental implants within 6 months to a year. This is to ensure that your bone graft doesn't resorb. Once your bone graft has healed, it's best to have your implants placed as soon as possible.
The Bone Graft Resorption Pace Differs for Everyone
The reason that the jawbone resorbs in the area of a missing tooth is that the pressure you once exerted on the area while chewing is no longer present. When the body senses this, the resorption process begins. But the speed of bone resorption differs for everyone. This is why you cannot predict how fast your bone graft will resorb once healed.
But certain habits can speed up bone resorption.
Smoking Speeds up Bone Resorption
According to research, smoking speeds up bone resorption. This means that if you delay your dental implant placement once your bone graft has healed, smoking during that period could cause your bone graft to resorb. Coupled with your body's natural response to reabsorb bone when no tooth is present, smoking could cause you to lose your bone graft entirely if you wait too long.
As such, if you can't place your dental implant soon after your bone graft, cut down on, or quit smoking. Otherwise, you might have to undergo the bone grafting process all over again in several months' time.
If you are unable to place a dental implant soon after your bone graft, stay in touch with your dentist. They can perform a CT while you wait to ensure that you still have sufficient bone for a dental implant.
If you want to learn more about dental implants, reach out to dentists to get more information.