I have some questions about bone grafting. I’ve been missing the six center teeth on my lower jaw for many years, and have worn both a dental bridge and a partial denture. The bone of my lower jaw has really gotten thin, though, and my dentist says we need to consider dental implants. To do the dental implants, though, he also says that he thinks I will need bone grafting.
He will be referring me to a specialist for all of this, as he says that he himself does not have the proper training or facilities. Is that normal? And he didn’t tell me much about bone grafting – is it safe? My overall health is excellent, but when I started looking for information on the Internet, I kept finding a lot of horror stories.
Any information you can give me would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for your help.
Henry in Bangor, MA
If your general health is excellent, that is a good indicator that you are a good candidate for bone grafting. Of course, the specialist your dentist refers you to will take a close look at the specifics of your case before recommending treatment of any kind. He or she will look at your x-rays, CT scans and will certainly perform a thorough examination.
You should be reassured that your dentist is referring you to a specialist, if your case is complex. Similar to cosmetic dentistry, the American Dental Association does not recognize a separate specialist designation, but extensive training beyond dental school is required to perform this kind of treatment. Even after your dentist makes a recommendation, make sure you do your own homework. Check the specialist’s website, and ask about training. Look for evidence that he or she has taken coursework at a facility like the American Academy of Implant Dentistry, or the Academy of Osseointegration, or the International Congress of Oral Implantology.
The office of Grosse Pointe Woods cosmetic dentist Dr. Hadgis has posted this information as a courtesy.