Bone Grafting with All-on-4 Dental Implants

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Bone grafting is a relatively common feature of many different implant technologies, and the procedure is one with many benefits and drawbacks. In this article we look at what bone grafting is, and more specifically whether you will need to have bone grafting performed if you are having all-on-4 implants placed in your mouth.

What is bone grafting?

Bone grafting is a method which is quite often necessary when a dentist is placing an implant into the jawbone. It is a surgical method which aims to replace lost or missing bone, and is important because a certain amount of bone is needed for most implants to be fixed securely and safely.

Implants are embedded into the bone of the upper or lower jaw, and where there isn’t enough bone and the need for an implant is pressing, a bone grafting surgery is performed. Contact between the bone and the implant eventually results in a fusion of the two, and this is integral to a healthy implant.

The point of dental bone grafting is to essentially provide enough bone for an implant to effectively fuse and form a stable, reliable, and lasting structure. The loss of jawbone can be a consequence of a number of different factors, including injury or trauma, serious periodontal infection/disease. The loss of teeth usually results in a gradual loss of jawbone because teeth are part of a system that stimulates the jawbone, preventing it from wearing down. The jawbone is actually quite dynamic, and without pressure exerted on the bone through our teeth, other signals stimulate the gradual resorption of bone (where the body effectively scavenges bone for other purposes).

Bone grafting and all-on-4 implants

Unlike other forms of dental implant, all-on-4 implants are unique in that in over 95% of cases no bone grafting is necessary. This is because of the unique design of these implants that allows for an entire arch of teeth on just 4 implants, compared to as many as 10 needed by other implant technologies.

Two implants are placed at the front of the jaw where they make use of the thicker bone in this position to form a stable link to the jaw bone. The last 2 implants are angled towards the back of the jawbone, maximising the available contact with the bone to form an overall structure which has been shown to be hard wearing, long lasting, comfortable, and convenient.  

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