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Scared to have a bone graft What are the real risks?

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ScaredMAB

Junior member
Joined
Aug 3, 2017
Messages
14
I have a long dental history that includes a class 2 overbite and being a child of the 50's was never corrected. Dental practices at that time did not include breaking jaws, splinting and all that currently can be done. End result is lots of damage to back teeth due to back loading, etc. Lots at crowns and root canals, and a deep fear of dental work.

I thought all that work would last a lifetime, I was wrong, starting having crowns breaking down a couple years ago and now am faced with re-doing existing crowns in jaw teeth and several extractions, grafts and implants. I have already had a meltdown over the costs and I am trying the hold the freaking out to each stage as it comes.

I know all the dentist will think I am silly and paranoid, which is correct! I have an extraction and bone graft scheduled for Monday and I am totally mortified of the idea of a bone graft. The dentist assures me there is nothing to worry about, But I am worried about the possibility of disease transmission from the donor bone, infection (Yes I looked at youtube disasters) rejection of the implant, etc. Can those of you with experience in this area offer information and encouragement that will set my mind at ease? Thanks
 
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sunflower32

Member
Joined
May 5, 2016
Messages
74
Location
USA
Hi there. While I can't speak to bone grafts, since I didn't need one when I got my implant last year, I can speak a bit to your other concerns. Regarding implant rejection: the mostly commonly used implant material is titanium, which is a bio-compatible material, meaning that the human body won't reject it. Instead, it will fuse to the bone around it so it'll function like a normal tooth once it's healed and the crown is placed. As for your concern about infection, I was given preventative antibiotics prior to getting my implant placed, but I don't know if this is standard procedure everywhere (I'm in the US).

It seems like your dentist has tried to put your mind at ease in a general sense, but it might be helpful to go to him/her with your specific questions so they can address each of your concerns. When I got my implant, I wrote a list of questions that I brought with me to the consultation, and it really helped. Also, it might help to lay off watching YouTube horror stories. They only serve to jack up your anxiety. Implant surgery has a success rate somewhere in the range of 98% (I can't remember the exact number). The odds are really good that everything will go just fine. Good luck, and let us know how it goes!
 
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ScaredMAB

Junior member
Joined
Aug 3, 2017
Messages
14
Thanks so much for your comments. I am in the US too.

My dentist has been pretty good about explaining things and trying to set my mind at ease, but the idea of somebody who is dead from who knows what, their bone being added to mine just sets my imagination into overdrive.

Everything passes through a lot of hands that are suppose to be doing their part to make sure all is properly done and absolutely no way for me to be 100 percent sure.

I will hang onto your positive comments, as I am sure I will freak out when the implant part rolls around.!!!
 
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takingflight

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 8, 2006
Messages
933
Location
VA
Hi and :welcome:

A few years ago I had to have a tooth extracted after an old root canal failed. Because there had been a long standing infection that I was unaware of, I had lost a lot of bone and needed a bone graft prior to having to my implant placed. They used a synthetic material so I can't comment directly as to your concern but I did comment on this very issue in a different thread that I thought may help give you some comfort:


As you can see in one of the posts, one of our resident dentists has an implant with donor bone and has had no issues. Safety is paramount and I'm sure your dentist only uses quality materials so you should have no problem. As to the implant; I am very happy with mine and often I forget it isn't my own tooth. If you have any other concerns please feel free to send me a pm and I'll do my best to answer you.

Best wishes - you'll do fine and I'm sure it will be a success!! :clover:
 
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ScaredMAB

Junior member
Joined
Aug 3, 2017
Messages
14
Hi takingflight!

I appreciate your response. I will follow your link to read your previous post.

Thanks for the encouragement.

ScaredMAB
 
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garyg

Junior member
Joined
Sep 19, 2017
Messages
1
Hi there. While I can't speak to bone grafts, since I didn't need one when I got my implant last year, I can speak a bit to your other concerns. Regarding implant rejection: the mostly commonly used implant material is titanium, which is a bio-compatible material, meaning that the human body won't reject it. Instead, it will fuse to the bone around it so it'll function like a normal tooth once it's healed and the crown is placed. As for your concern about infection, I was given preventative antibiotics prior to getting my implant placed, but I don't know if this is standard procedure everywhere (I'm in the US).

It seems like your dentist has tried to put your mind at ease in a general sense, but it might be helpful to go to him/her with your specific questions so they can address each of your concerns. When I got my implant, I wrote a list of questions that I brought with me to the consultation, and it really helped. Also, it might help to lay off watching YouTube horror stories. They only serve to jack up your anxiety. Implant surgery has a success rate somewhere in the range of 98% (I can't remember the exact number). The odds are really good that everything will go just fine. Good luck, and let us know how it goes!

The 98% success rate is from a 2008 study and no longer true. The latest studies reveal that, after 5 years, 30 to 50% of implants will have peri-implantitis: https://www.nature.com/articles/sj.bdj.2016.46

A respected British surgeon has called it a "time bomb". (Link to this article in the footnotes of the above article.

Peri-implantitis is rarely discovered until after the damage is done because no one is doing adequate follow-ups. Undiscovered it can lead to more bone loss than the empty socket that you have been told implants will prevent.
Link: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/j.1600-051X.2009.01375.x

I am sorry to say that I cannot find a reason for any dentist, periodontist or oral surgeon to claim that implants are 98% successful except to give patients a false sense of security that is of benefit only to the dental professional. After all, they will again benefit from fixing the problems they created.
Link to a dentist-student dentist forum with thousands of posts:
It is the way they talk to each other and a real eye opener.​
It will not help us to pretend that they are not aware of the risks. We do not need to waste time judging them or questioning why. A study by the National Institute of Health has more meaning than a dentist's website that states the "98% success rate of implants" with no link or footnote provided. We have to spend time and research the available information ourselves and make decisions according to what is important to each of us. Some people may not mind the extra expenditure and lost time down the road. It is a choice but dentists are not providing the information needed to make it. I am new here and thought that members of a dental fear forum would be the last to accept anything dentists say. There is a reason to be cautious and sometimes fearful. Pretending all is okay and suppressing doubt will not free anyone from fear.​
Quite the opposite.​
My comments are meant only to be helpful if I am correct in assuming that we all would like to free of dental fear. I suffer with you. I have provided links instead of posting as my opinion and if you google the info yourself you will find many more studies with the same conclusions, from many countries.​
I will not link to the quote or author of "the truth shall set you free" for obvious reasons.​
I wish the best for all of us. :clover:
 
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comfortdentist

Well-known member
Verified dentist
Joined
Jul 19, 2009
Messages
2,748
Location
Miami, Fl
The problem with implants is the gum implant interface. Implants are relatively new so the dental profession is learning the causes of peri-implantitis and then how to treat it.
There are some things we know for sure.
1. People who smoke are at a bigger risk
2. People who lost teeth from periodontal disease are at a bigger risk
3. Cemented crowns on implants may also pose a larger risk as it is easy to leave some cement under the gum and that is a major cause of the disease.
4. Lack of adequate firm gum around an implant is also a risk.
5. Popcorn is a risk as the kernel may cut down into the implant bone area. I have performed at least three surgeries for this.
6. I have known two patients that it seemed their immune system couldn't keep an implant in their mouth. All implants worked fine and all implants of various brands failed within three years. There is research being done on an antibacterial type surface treatment which should help.

Implants are a great treatment but like I have said many many times they must be done very well and not "cheaply". It is also best to keep your teeth and treat them well. If you have implants then continue to see the dentist and let them monitor your tissue health around the implant.
 
tigerstripedred

tigerstripedred

Well-known member
Joined
May 6, 2016
Messages
323
Location
Missouri
well this makes me wonder if mine is going to fail too. i was very much under the impression it would last my lifetime with regular cleanings. I know floss goes deeper around it than my other teeth which scares me. I suppose I should be more careful about what I eat over there.
 
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Tink

Well-known member
Joined
May 14, 2013
Messages
746
Location
UK
There's no need for you to worry.

The take-home message here is to take proper care of your implants, get regular professional cleanings and checkups, and always get implants fitted by somebody who knows what they are doing. You are doing all those things.

There are things in that post that are straight up misleading. For example the bald statement that "no one is doing adequate follow-ups" is nonsense. Plenty of people are, the point is to do them. There are dentists doing those adequate follow-ups that are quoted right there in the linked article.

Also the linked BDJ article at the top doesn't actually provide the figures quoted. The surgeon quoted in the post talking about a "time bomb" is talking about where implants are not properly maintained (it's in the Telegraph article linked from the BDJ article)



Again: what the dentists are saying here is that it is important that implants are properly fitted and properly maintained.
 
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