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Dental implants have become highly utilized in dentistry. Oftentimes, another procedure called a bone graft, is required to aide in the stabilization of  dental implants. The success of dental implants depends on the quality and quantity of bone present. If the bone is of poor quality or low quantity the dental implants have a much lower chance of success. Adequate bone structure is required for a dental implant to integrate (become one with the surrounding bone), and be strong enough to chew on. Bone grafting is a surgical procedure that can increase the quality and/or quality of the bone to then directly effect the chance of dental implants success. Not all dental implants require bone grafts, so when do you need them?

When Are Dental Bone Grafts Needed For Dental Implants?

The existing bone has insufficient width. This could be a genetic factor where the bone width is lacking naturally or it could be from damage over time from periodontal disease.

The existing bone has insufficient height. The height of the bone is just as critical as the width as it ensures the dental implant is properly anchored to support the stress of function (biting and chewing food).

The maxillary sinus is too close to area of placement. This usually means that there is not enough bone between the tooth area and the sinus. Generally this can be fixed by lifting the sinus membrane (Sinus Lift) and placing bone graft material.

Inadequate bone as a result of previous tooth or teeth removal. Sometimes when teeth are removed or fall out, bone can be removed as well. The bone will also decrease and remodel once the tooth is removed as it no longer is needed to hold a tooth in place.

Not enough bone due to periodontal disease or trauma. Periodontal disease and trauma can lead to there not being enough bone for a successful dental implant.

Inadequate bone due to defect in development that affects growth of bone in the jaw.

Insufficient bone caused by the removal of cysts or tumors in the mouth. If the removal of a cyst or tumor is required there will also be removal of some of the bone, there may not be enough left for the dental implant to be successful. After removal of oral pathology, healing time is required so that bone quality and quantity can be reevaluated.

Bone Grafting Procedure

Where Does the Bone Come From?

Bone grafting procedures involve the use of your bone, cadaver bone, cow bone, and synthetic bone. Your own bone will most likely come from your chin or ramus (the back part of your lower jaw). If your dentist is unable to get enough bone from either of these areas, they may need to get bone from your hip or shin bone (tibia) instead. The hip is considered to be a better source because the hip bone can provide a large amount of bone. The marrow from either the hip or shin (tibia) contains bone-forming cells. However bone taken from your hip requires a visit to the hospital along with general anesthesia. Cadaver bone and cow bone is sterilized and broken down into small chips for easy placement.  Man made synthetic materials are also widely used for bone grafting. The synthetic bone acts as a scaffold for new bone to build on.

Newer products containing growth factors have also been developed.  Some are used to enhance bone graft materials and others are used in place of bone grafting. One of these products, BMP-2 stimulates certain body cells to turn into bone. The BMP-2 protein occurs naturally in the body.

What Happens During Bone Grafting?

A good example is a patient that needs to have a single tooth extracted and wants to have it replaced with a dental implant and dental crown. There may be a bone defect in the area or the tooth is large and needs to have some bone placed to fill in the expansive space. In this case, a dental bone graft is ideal and necessary to support the future dental implant.

Before the procedure, you will need to have either a CT scan or a cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT) scan. The images of a CT or CBCT provide valuable information about bone quantity and show where important nerves and sinuses are located which need to be avoided. A CBCT actually provides a 3-D image of your bone and any defects present. Local anesthesia will be used to numb the area where the bone augmentation is needed (called the recipient site) as well as the area from where bone will be removed (donor site) if using your own bone. An incision in the gum tissue where the implant will be placed is made to determine how much and what type of bone is needed.

The most common type of graft is called a socket graft. This is used to fill the space left behind by the lost tooth. The material used most often in a socket graft is often comprised of cow bone. This bone is harvested from known healthy cows and is processed through a freeze drying procedure that renders a sterile end product containing only the mineral content of natural bone. The graft is applied to the empty hole immediately after a tooth extraction and is secured using sutures (stitches).

Following the bone grafting procedure the patient will be given antibiotics, pain medicine, and an antibacterial mouthwash. You will need to avoid certain foods. You also will be told how to avoid putting pressure on the area or damaging it while it heals. If you wear a denture, you may not be able to wear it for a month or longer while the area heals. If you have natural teeth around the bone graft, your dentist may make a temporary removable bridge or denture to help protect the area.

Success of Bone Grafting

The success rate for bone grafts in the jaws for the purpose of placing dental implants is very high. However, there is a small chance that the bone graft will fail, even if your own bone was used. Bone grafts are not rejected like organ transplants. It is not exactly known why some dental grafts fail. There is a higher risk of failure in patients with diabetes, who smoke, or have periodontal disease. A failed graft can be removed. Once the area has healed, your dentist may choose to place a second bone graft.

Dental Bone Grafts Conclusion

Without dental bone grafts many would be unable to restore their smiles with dental implants. Just like dental implants, dental bone grafts are highly successful procedures to restore a smile to its natural state. Every case is different and the need for bone grafting varies from person to person and tooth to tooth. You can discuss the need for possible bone grafting with your dentist to see if it would benefit your procedure.




Looking and feeling younger has been an eternal quest for the human race. Science is ever advancing to keep us feeling and looking younger but did you know a full healthy smile can have a similar effect? Replacing lost teeth is more than just a cosmetic fix. Having a full smile can give you a youthful appearance as well as increased confidence.

Are Dental Implants Right For Me?

Dental implants are an ideal option for people with generally good oral health who have lost a tooth or teeth due to periodontal disease, trauma, or any other reason. Dental implants are actually more conservative than traditional crowns and bridges, since dental implants do not remove healthy teeth structure or rely on adjacent teeth for support.

Sufficient bone is necessary to support the dental implants, and the best candidates for dental implants have healthy gum tissues that are periodontal disease free. Once dental implants are placed they are intimately connected with the underlying bone and gum tissues in the mouth. Maintaining proper dental hygiene is necessary for the long term success of dental implants. With technique and material advancements, dental bone grafts are now more successful than ever and can be used to augment your natural bone. Be honest with your dentist regarding health issues or anything that could ultimately affect the success of the procedure. There is an increased risk of failure in patients who smoke. For this reason, dental implants are frequently placed only after a patient has stopped smoking.

Dental implant success is related to surgeon’s skill, quality and quantity of the bone available at the site, and the patient’s dental hygiene maintenance. Failure of dental implants is usually due to the failure of the implant to osseointegrate (fuse with bone) correctly, or vice-versa. Dental Implants considered failures if it is lost, mobile or shows marked bone loss around the implant. Dental implants are not susceptible to tooth decay but they can develop a condition called Peri-implantitis. This is an inflammatory condition of the gingival tissue and/or bone around the implant which may result in bone loss and eventual loss of the implant. It is usually associated with chronic infection. Peri-implantitis is more likely to occur in heavy smokers, patients with diabetes, patients with poor dental hygiene and cases where the gingival tissue around the implant is thin.

More rarely, dental implants may fail because of poor surgical placement, not having enough bone healing prior to restoring with a crown or may be overloaded initially, causing failure to integrate. If smoking and positioning problems exist prior to implant surgery, dentists may often recommend to patients that implants may not be the best option.Then they will recommend a bridge or a partial denture to replace the missing tooth.

Once restored, dental implants are very natural looking and the patient will not feel any difference after it is healed. You may even forget you ever lost a tooth in the first place. A person’s self esteem is definitely affected by his/her smile. Perhaps you hide your smile because of spaces from missing teeth. Maybe your dentures don’t feel secure. Perhaps you have difficulty chewing. If you are missing one or more teeth and would like to smile, speak and eat again with comfort and confidence, there is good news! Dental implants are teeth that can look and feel just like your own! Under the right conditions dental implants can maintain your smile for a lifetime. Long-term studies continue to show improving success rates for dental implants.

Dental Implants And Their Benefits

Dental Implants have the ability to provide the following benefits to make you look and feel younger:

-Dental Implants Feel Natural. They look and feel just like your own teeth.

-Cosmetics. Dental implants have the ability to restore a lost smile making you more attractive to others.

-Similar Dental Hygiene Maintenance As Natural Teeth. Not only do they feel comfortable but they are maintained just like our natural teeth. This includes brushing, flossing, and regular visits to the dentist for professional cleanings.

-Restored Chewing Ability. Dental implants allow you to chew all your favorite foods without pain/discomfort or fear.

-Improved Communication. With a full complement of teeth your speech will be improved.

-Conservative Treatment. Any surgery is rarely considered conservative but in this case it is. Dental implants preserve natural tooth tissue by avoiding the need to cut down adjacent teeth for conventional bridgework.

-Preserving Bone. When teeth are lost, the bone in the jaws remodels and shrinks. When dental implants are in place the bone levels stay where they should maintaining a healthy bone structure in the face and jaws.

-No Tooth Decay. Dental implants are not susceptible to tooth decay.

-Increased Confidence and Self-Esteem. With a renewed smile, you will feel better about yourself and confident in knowing you can smile fully.

Dental Implants Conclusion

If you have lost your teeth due to aging, an accident or some other dental problem, be aware there is a solution to restore your smile to its youthful appearance. Dental implants can make you feel and look younger again. A healthy smile exudes confidence and optimism, and is the focal point of many conversations. Don’t you owe it to yourself to show the world the best side of you.



For many, the fear of the unknown keeps them from making decisions that can improve their lives. The same holds true when it comes to our smiles and dental health. A well educated patient makes informed, smart choices that can have dramatic effects on their overall well being. Below you will find some common questions about the all on 4 dental implants procedure.

What Appointments are Needed for All On 4 Dental Implants?

The All on 4 Dental Implants procedure consists of the following visits:

Initial Visit(s) – The initial visit(s) for the all on 4 dental implants procedure is necessary for the dentist to do a proper treatment plan for you. These visits will include gathering pertinent medical history, needed X-rays, dental impressions, photos, and a CAT Scan. The dentist will then be able to review all the information with the patient and develop the proper course of treatment.

Actual All On 4 Dental Implants Procedure Visit – At this visit the patient will undergo the procedure for placement of the 4 dental implants. Following placement of the dental implants, the dentist will place the denture in and the patient will leave in the afternoon with a beautiful set of fixed, functional teeth.

Follow-up Appointments – The patient will need to return to the dentist for occasional dental examinations over the next several days, weeks, and months to ensure comfort and fit. In about 6 months, the patient will return for a final set of dentures. The reason for the 6 month wait is to give the tissues in the mouth time to heal properly, correct anything the patient wishes to change, allow the implants to properly integrate into the bone, and to fabricate a titanium bar to fully support the teeth.

Common All On 4 Dental Implants Questions

What is the difference between traditional dental implants and all on 4 dental implants?

The dental implants used in the all on 4 procedure are specially designed to use as few dental implants as possible while giving proper support and stability. Traditionally, 6-8 dental implants would need to be placed to give similar support to a traditional denture. By placing the dental implants at slight angles it is possible to use fewer dental implants (generally 4-5) which decreases cost and healing time. This also has the advantage of not needing bone grafts prior to surgery.

How Do I Know If I Am A Good Candidate?

The ideal candidate for the All-on-4 dental implant procedure is someone who is currently wearing dentures or who is headed in that direction. Age does not matter but all dental implant candidates should be in good health and be a non smoker.

What is the success rate with All on 4 Dental Implants?

It is very similar to traditional dental implants. Long term studies show that all on 4 dental implants have a success rate over 98%.

Published studies show a 98% success rate using All-on-4 dental implants.

How long is the All-on-4 dental implant surgery?

The surgery itself takes approximately 2-3 hours per arch.

Will I leave the dentist with new teeth on day of surgery?

Yes! On the day of surgery a temporary set of dentures will be placed. The reason the dentures are temporary is to give your dental implants a chance to heal properly. Once the healing is complete a new set of dentures will be fixed in place. Sometimes the denture can not be secured to the new implants immediately. In this case, the bone is not strong enough and needs to heal for a few months while a traditional denture is worn.

Will my results look natural?

Yes! The All-on-4 dental implant procedure gives you permanent teeth that look, feel and function much like real teeth. No one should ever know but you and your dentist.

Can All On 4 Dental Implants be used on both arches?

Yes! The procedure can be used for either an upper or lower denture or both at same time.

How Are My New Teeth Maintained?

Dental implants should be treated like your natural teeth, daily brushing and flossing is required to maintain your new smile. There is also still a need for regular dental visits to have the implants and teeth cleaned and screws changed  to ensure the dental implants are solid, clean and free of infection.

All On 4 Dental Implants Conclusion

All on 4 dental implants have revolutionized dental care for many. To have secure, strong teeth made in a day removes many of the barriers that prevented treatment in the past.  Your dentist will let you know if all on 4 dental implants is a viable option for your oral condition.



Anyone who is fashion conscious knows sometimes the accessories are what makes a well dressed man or women. Whether it be a watch or a tie for a man or a handbag for a woman they can make or break someone’s look. What about your smile? Have you ever considered your smile to be an accessory to your look? If your smile is dull and lifeless it will detract from your overall look making you appear older and less vibrant. Below are some cosmetic dentistry procedures that can be utilized to brighten up an overall smile.

Using Cosmetic Dentistry To Be Fashion Forward

Dental Bonding. This is the cosmetic dentistry procedure in which tooth colored dental materials are adhesively bonded to a tooth. This might be one of the simplest cosmetic dentistry procedures to bring your smile to life. Dental bonding gives the dentist the ability to change shape, size, color, length, and close any gaps that might be present. Dental bonding can be completed in as little as an hour. The main disadvantages of dental bonding are chipping, wearing over time, and staining. The final product is not as strong as a porcelain restoration and may need to be updated over time. While dental bonding is also used to restore teeth damaged by tooth decay it can also be used as a cosmetic veneer. Dental bonding is a very easy way to make your smile youthful and natural in appearance again.

Porcelain Veneers and Porcelain Crowns. Often called “instant orthodontics”, porcelain veneers can change the alignment of teeth, if the alignment issues are not too extreme. Porcelain veneers and porcelain crowns can be a great way to replace lost tooth structure and alter imperfect teeth creating a more youthful appearance. Porcelain crowns and porcelain veneers tend to require more than one visit, but the results will give you a beautiful, youthful smile that lasts for years to come. Porcelain Veneers are custom made, ultra thin, tooth colored shells that are bonded to your teeth, and do not change color over time. This allows the cosmetic dentist to not only alter color of your teeth, but shape and length as well. Porcelain crowns can be used on teeth that either already have crowns or need more extensive work (having large restorations or tooth decay). Both porcelain veneers and porcelain crowns can as used in cosmetic dentistry to give the patient a flawless, more youthful and natural looking smile.

Teeth Whitening. This is quite possibly the most popular cosmetic dentistry procedure today. It is safe and effective and comes in a few forms. These forms include in office whitening, at home whitening (with dentist provided trays), as well as use of teeth whitening strips, and topical gels. All of these methods are quite effective for most people. It has been proven by research time and again, that people find a whiter smile to be more youthful and attractive.  People tend to feel better about themselves when they are happy with their appearance. Teeth whitening can give patients a dramatic change to their smile with minimal cost and time invested.

Teeth Contouring. This might be one of the simplest and most cost effective cosmetic dentistry procedures of all. It is usually done without the need for anesthesia and can be as simple as filing down a tooth that appears longer or is slightly out of alignment with the others. Most patients are quite surprised at how such a small adjustment can alter their smile for the better.

Gum contouring and Gum grafting. Evening out gum levels can help teeth to look more evenly sized and can make short teeth appear longer. Gum grafts can fix areas where gum recession has occurred to make everything appear even and natural again.

Dental Implants. Dental implants allow cosmetic dentists another option in tooth replacement to recreate a youthful, attractive smile. Whether it is a single tooth or a full mouth restoration, dental implants can fill that need. Missing teeth or open spaces has long been considered a sign of old age. Having a full set of white teeth screams youth especially when they are bright, white, and sparkling. When a person is missing a tooth they have several options. There are partial and complete dentures (including the all on 4 dental implants system), traditional bridges, and dental implants. A dental implant can look and feel just like a natural tooth. It is also easier to keep clean than a traditional bridge. Dental implants are placed directly into bone creating a solid foundation for a natural tooth replacement.

Bite Reclamation. Over time as we age, we tend to lose some height on our teeth. This loss of height of height is also referred to as loss of vertical dimension. Some other factors that cause this loss include acid reflux or teeth grinding (bruxism). Reclaiming a person’s bite utilizing dental implants and porcelain crowns will increase vertical height which will also remove some of the wrinkles around the mouth. These wrinkles develop as our we age and our mouth’s sag from this loss of dimension. Cosmetic dentistry can fix some of this.

Botox and Dermal Fillers. Long the realm of cosmetic surgeons, dentistry has now added these procedures to give what is called a dental face lift. In combination with dental work, removing some of those wrinkles on the face and around the mouth specifically will better frame that beautiful, white, youthful smile.

Cosmetic Dentistry Conclusion

Many studies have shown that the first thing people notice upon meeting is their smile. If your smile is dull and lifeless it can lead to a bad impression. Put your best foot forward in your choice of clothes and in your smile maintenance. You only get one chance for a first impression, make it a good one!