Bone Grafting for Implants

Do I have enough bone for dental implants?

After tooth extraction, if the walls of the socket are very thick, they will usually fill naturally with bone in two to three months. However, when the walls of your socket are very thin (such as in your upper and lower front teeth), this type of healing will not be as predictable. In these situations, a bone graft is often placed at the time of tooth extraction to help your body fill in the empty socket with bone. This step will maintain the width and volume of bone you will need for implant placement several months later.

An example of a jaw with inadequate front bone structure to support an implant
1. Inadequate Bone
A depiction of the placed bone grafting material to increase the bone structure
2. Graft Material Placed
A representation of dental implants placed after bone grafting
3. Implants Placed

There may be inadequate bone for implant placement if your tooth was removed many years ago and your bony ridge is extremely thin. In this case, a bone graft can be placed next to the thin bone and allowed to heal for up to six months. After the graft has fused to your pre-existing bone, the ridge will be re-entered and the implant placed. Bone grafting is usually a relatively comfortable office procedure. Many different bone-grafting materials are available, including your own bone.

A jaw lacking enough bone in the back of the mouth for a dental implant
1. Inadequate Bone
An example of a dental implant after adding jaw structure with bone grafting
2. Graft Material and Implant Placed

You may also need bone grafting if the sinus cavities in your upper jaw are very large, or very low, and extend into the tooth-bearing areas. This often occurs when teeth in the back of a person’s upper jaw have been removed many years before, and the amount of bone available for implant placement is limited. A “sinus grafting procedure” is then required. Most often, it is performed in the office with local anesthesia and perhaps sedation. During this procedure, the membrane that lines the sinus will be located and elevated. Bone will then be added to restore the bone height and ensure that dental implants of an adequate length can be placed. This procedure often can be performed at the time of implant placement.

Associated Dental Care of Helena

5 out of 5 stars based on 2 Dental Implants reviews.

Our Latest Review

Thank you for everything that you have done for myself, family, and friends. You have quite the staff, keep up the good work!

- Casey L

5 out of 5 stars on
Procedure
Dental Implants
Was This Your First Visit?
No
Did You Have Scheduled Appointment?
Yes
Will You Return For Additional Care If Needed?
Yes
Would You Recommend Us To A Friend?
Yes
Courtesy / Friendliness Shown To You By Our Staff Over The Phone:
The staff is very timely and friendly. Customer service is tough to come by anymore, happy to see this practice still values it!
Ease Of Scheduling Your Appointment With Our Office:
Very easy and friendly scheduling staff!
Waiting Time:
I have not waitied longer than 5 minutes for an appointment.
Overall Staff Rating:
Rating: 5
Friendly and welcoming staff across the board.
Overall Doctor Rating:
Rating: 5
Dr. Allen is very personable, professional, passionate about his career. I highly recommend him!

Our Latest Review

My experience at Associated Dental Care of Helena has been a treat. And that's saying something because, you know, it's the "Dentists Office" after all....! My wife had been seen there on several occasions, and when I moved to Helena she recommended that I see her dentist, Dr. Ingrid McLellan, when it came time to do so. Dr. McLellan was a delight to chat with, and was very thorough in explaining procedures and answering the questions I had. Her 'chairside manner' was wonderful, as well as that of her Dental Assitant, Mary. For the implant I'd chosen (to replace a broken tooth), I then saw Dr. Brandon Kiesling. If I'd thought my very positive experience with Dr. McLellan was a fluke, that thought was short-lived. Dr. Kiesling immediately demonstrated a wonderful manner as well, and was also a delight to chat with. Regarding the many technical details of the implant procedure it was reassuring to see that Dr. Kiesling, although a younger dentist, had done this many times before. In fact I would say that 'quiet competence' is what distinguishes the staff here, in my mind, from some other dental offices I've visited. As a patient, this is a great feeling to have. Then one can simply relax, let these obviously very caring professionals do their work, and see how many times you can get them to laugh at your frequently awful jokes 🙂 P.S. - Cleanings with Dental Hygienist Amy have been not only educational for me (down to who's having a sale on the best SonicCare Toothbrush!), but just as pleasant as every other office visit I've had there. Amy has a very tender manner, and touch. Likely, I think, to be quite compatible and reassuring even to those with anxiety about 'going to the dentist'. Great job, Associated Dental Care of Helena! I will recommend you all to anyone I know who is in need of kind, competent dental care 🙂

- Michael C

5 out of 5 stars on
Procedure
Dental Implants
Was This Your First Visit?
No
Did You Have Scheduled Appointment?
Yes
Will You Return For Additional Care If Needed?
Yes
Would You Recommend Us To A Friend?
Yes
Courtesy / Friendliness Shown To You By Our Staff Over The Phone:
Always Excellent!
Ease Of Scheduling Your Appointment With Our Office:
Painless 😉
Waiting Time:
Very Reasonable
Overall Staff Rating:
Rating: 5
Mary, Amy, and Sharon have been wonderful!
Overall Doctor Rating:
Rating: 5
Dr. Ingrid McLellan and Dr. Brandon Kiesling both have an AMAZINGLY great 'chair-side manner'. I've never had such engaging, competent, and patient-friendly dental care!