I lost a tooth and planned on getting a dental implant. My dentist has done the procedure many times with great success so I felt fairly confident. When he attempted the first surgery he realized I didn’t have enough bone structure. He told me I’d need some bone grafting done for it to be successful. I went ahead and had the bone grafting procedure done. Then we tried again for procedure number three. Yet, when he went in again the bone was still too thin. He said it seems like I may be a better candidate for a dental bridge. Is it the dentist failing or am I not a candidate?
As you see from the image above, your implant needs the surrounding bone to secure it. That’s why your dentist emphasized the need for the bone grafting. Truthfully, you probably could have had your dental implant if you’d had a dentist more experienced. You still can. Bear in mind, there is not a recognized specialty in implantology. Before we go into what type of dentist to look for, I want to address your current dentist.
I don’t want you to feel too negatively about it. It sounds to me like he has a lot of experience in placing dental implants, but is new to the bone grafting procedure. That’s okay. Every dentist is new at a procedure at some point. And you have a dentist who is consistently improving his knowledge and skill base. That’s a great quality in a medical practitioner.
You also have a dentist with integrity. Some dentists would have placed the dental implant following the bone grafting procedure even though it wasn’t ideal. Then, when your implant failed a few years down the road you’d have no idea why. His integrity prevented that.
Finding an Expert Dental Implant Provider
If you’re tired of dealing with this, a dental bridge is a perfectly acceptable solution to replacing a single tooth. However, if you have your heart set on getting an implant it is still possible. In your case, because you already know you need bone grafting, you will need to find a dentist not just skilled in placing implant, but also very practiced and successful in grafting.
Start by checking out their post-graduate implant training and any awards and fellowships they have in their field. Don’t hesitate to ask about their success rate in both implants and grafting. No truly experienced dentist would be offended by your questions. You don’t just let anyone perform surgery on you.
This blog is brought to you by Dr. Fred Arnold.