Bone grafting is an excellent technique for building up bone to help support a dental implant. But it’s not the only way. One alternative we can consider is using braces to move your natural tooth to the place with reduced bone, then place a dental implant where the tooth used to be.
This has some advantages as well as some limitations, but it’s an important option to keep in mind.
Your Natural Tooth Fosters Natural Growth
Probably the biggest advantage of moving the tooth rather than doing the bone graft is that the natural tooth is superb at encouraging the growth of your natural tissues. This includes not just the bone, but also the gum tissue. Since gum tissue is one of the biggest challenges in trying to ensure an attractive result from your dental implants, this is an important advantage to keep in mind.
Moving your natural tooth will sometimes give us more bone and gum tissue, and better quality bone and gum tissue, than we might get with a bone graft.
But Is It Worth It?
The drawbacks of this procedure are obvious: it requires an additional dental treatment, which means additional time and additional expense. Sometimes the time requirement isn’t much longer than may be required with a bone graft, but other times it can be a prohibitively long treatment. And when we add on the potential expense of modifying the natural tooth to fit cosmetically in its new placement, it just seems like too much investment for some people.
If You’re Doing Orthodontics Anyway
Of course, if you are doing orthodontics for other reasons, such as to correct teeth that have drifted as a result of your missing tooth, it might be a worthwhile option to consider. It’s something we can talk about during your consultation.
At Rice Dentistry, we consider every option to ensure that all our patients get the best possible results from their dental implant procedure. If you want to learn what options are available for your dental implants in Irvine, please call (949) 551-5902 for an appointment with an Orange County implant dentist today.