What Happens to Bone Graft if I Do Not Place an Implant for a Few Years?

If I have a bone graft but do not place an implant for 2 to four years what will happen to the area grafted? Will the bone begin to recede in this time period? The socket of the missing tooth has likely filled with bone after being gone for so many years, I just want to build the ridge and prepare for an implant down the road. I need a gum graft so I figured I could "kill two birds with one stone". Thanks

Doctor Answers 3

Missing Teeth with Bone Graft but no Implant in the Near Future...

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Whenever planning a case involving dental implants, it is best if you discuss all your options with your dental team.  If a tooth were to be extracted and no implant were to be placed, non-resorbable materials can be used to maintain the bone level and the soft tissues can be plumped up.  Time would not be a major consideration and a fixed bridge can be placed within a reasonable amount of time.  If an implant or a few implants are to be used in your final prosthesis in a case where teeth are to be extracted, time is more of a factor.  When teeth are extracted and a bone graft is placed, an implant should be loaded within a reasonable amount of time or the grafted bone will dissolve.  Both the bone and the implant need to be loaded or used in function, otherwise there will be atrophy.  A reasonable amount of time to wait is anywhere between 2-8 months.  If a longer time frame is needed to restore the prosthesis, then it might be wise to delay the extraction + graft + implant placement until the time is right.  Good luck and keep us informed.

New York Dentist

What happens to bone graft?

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If you don't put in the implants within a year in most cases alot of the graft will resorb good luck


Kevin Coughlin DMD, MBA, MAGD    CEO Baystate Dental PC

Kevin Coughlin, DMD
Springfield Dentist

Bone Grafting Timing

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The procedure your explaining sounds like you need more width for your implant to be placed.  If you do not place a implant in the 6-12 month time frame, your body will dissolve the graft.  The implant is important in maintaining bone because it loads the bone or put's pressure on the bone so the body will prevent resorption.  So grafting now with no implant in the near future will be a waste of funds on your side.  Now there are some patient's that the bone stays for several years, but it's not a guarantee. 

Anthony J. Rega, DDS
San Ramon Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.