Theriot Family Dental

Bone Grafting Failed

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My dentist has done lots of dental implants, so when I lost a tooth I thought he was the natural choice. When he first went in, the dentist said there was not enough bone there to retain the dental implant so he closed me back up and recommended we do bone grafting first. I agreed. We did the bone grafting procedure and then waited the appropriate amount of time. When he went back in to again attempt the dental implant, he had to close me back up once more and said there still isn’t enough bone there and he recommends we switch gears to getting a dental bridge. He refunded my money, but I’m disappointed at the prospect of not getting a dental implant. Is there no possibility?


Dear Cannon,

illustration of a dental implant next to a natural tooth


I’m glad you wrote. It is still possible for you to get a dental implant, though you may have to do it through a different dentist. Don’t be too hard on your dentist though. You actually have a keeper and I’ll tell you why.

First, he is learning new skills. I can’t tell you the number of dentists who are set in their ways and do not invest in the new procedures and advances, which does not serve their patients well. Your dentist is the opposite. He is advancing his knowledge and education with the latest procedures all of which will enable him to give you the best treatment possible. Many dentists who do dental implants have not yet dipped their toes in the grafting procedures.

Second, and this one is even better, he has integrity. When he went in the first time and realized your implant would fail, he was honest and suggested the procedure that would help. He tried his best to do that for you. Then, when that failed, he could have just placed the implant and pretended everything was fine in order to save himself the humiliation. He didn’t. He took his lumps and told you the truth AND refunded your money. Integrity and a passion for his field are two amazing characteristics to have in your caregiver.

How to Get Your Dental Implant

The first thing you’ll need to do is find someone who’s a bit more experienced than your current dentist in advanced dental implant procedures. In your place, I would look for someone who is a fellow with the International Congress of Oral Implantologists (ICOI). These are the most advanced implant dentists in the world. Once you find the right dentist, he or she can redo your bone grafting and then get you that implant you really want. You will not have to get a dental bridge.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette, LA Dentist Dr. John Theriot.