If you are missing teeth or have bone loss in the jaw and are considering dental implants, you should understand the basics of bone grafts. Dentists use bone grafting procedures with breakthrough materials that promote the growth of new bone in the position of missing teeth. If positioned promptly following a tooth extraction, dental bone grafting can stop considerable bone loss and permit for the placement of dental implants.
The Jaw Bone’s Role in Oral Health
The jaw bone is essential to oral health as it holds the teeth in proper positions. Tooth roots are surrounded by bone and connected to other structures. If a tooth is missing, it must be replaced as soon as possible. In most cases, dentists give preference to dental implants1. However, when the tooth is removed, there is nothing to support the bone. This bone will gradually erode until it forms a divot-like shape within the jaw bone. The placement of a dental implant or bridge in an area with such undulation will look abnormal. Additional bone is necessary to permit the secure placement of a dental restoration.
The Magic of Dental Bone Grafts
Bone grafts are made from several different sources. In some cases, the bone graft comes from the patient him or herself. In other cases, an animal, synthetic material or another human being serves as the source. The dentist will help you determine which source is optimal for your unique situation. Do not worry about the safety of bone grafts. If donor tissue is taken from an animal or another person, it will be fully disinfected prior to the actual grafting. All in all, everything from the magnitude of bone loss to the site of the bone loss in the mouth to an array of other factors will play a part in determining the best approach.
The graft serves as a platform of sorts for the adjacent bone to grow on. This newly emerging bone eventually replaces the graft material comprised of minerals such as phosphorous and calcium. The dentist might also determine it is prudent to cover the graft with collagen membranes to advance the regeneration. Aside from stopping accelerated bone loss, bone grafting also makes it possible for dental implants to be placed in areas of the mouth where teeth have been lost or extracted.
Dental Bone Grafting for Dental Implants
A certain amount of bone must be in place for dental implants to securely connect to the jaw. If there is insufficient bone, the dental implants will not have the anchorage necessary to remain in place. Ample bone must be available so the dental implant’s crown placement works as designed and looks completely natural. In fact, bone grafting at the site of diminished bone can spur regeneration that enhances the gone mass and makes it appear as though the dental implant is a natural tooth. The titanium post that connects to the jaw bone for dental implants fuses with bone tissue, spurring additional bone growth in the area.
The Dental Bone Grafting Process Rewards Patient Patients
It will take some time for the dental bone grafting procedure to generate results. After all, the dentist is removing a section of bone from one portion of the body and using a specialized bone grafting material to graft it onto the jaw bone. It will likely take a couple months for the graft to form strong, new bone that ensures the implant proves secure across posterity. However, there is a chance you will only require a minor dental bone graft procedure that can be done at the same appointment in which the dental implant surgery occurs. It will be up to your dentist to determine which approach is optimal for your long-term oral health. What matters most is that your dental bone graft proves successful to the point that your jaw bone has the strength necessary to support the dental implant.
The Different Types of Dental Bone Grafts
Dental bone grafts of varying sizes are available. Patients who had a tooth removed years ago will likely have some bone loss that slows the area’s restoration. If this occurs, more than the bare minimum bone graft will be required. The portion of the missing tooth is accessed with a minor incision. Granules of demineralized bone graft are placed to generate support in the area. In some cases, a small amount of the patient’s bone is used in such a “medium” dental bone graft for optimal results. A specialized membrane safeguards the membrane that is subsequently sutured to keep it nice and tight.
Those who have been missing one or several teeth for an extended period of time often have advanced bone loss that prevents the proper restoration of the teeth. Those who wear dentures sometimes have lower jaw bone recession that is so significant that the dentures can no longer fit as designed. If there is advanced bone loss, the jaw bone might end up being as thin as a pen. Such patients cannot wear dentures with any success. Furthermore, there is not enough bone available for the placement of dental implants. In this situation, extensive dental bone grafting will prove necessary to restore the lost bone and keep the patient comfortable. Such a major dental bone graft procedure requires a combination of sterile, demineralized human bone along with the patient’s bone to add structure to the jaw bone. This approach is necessary to generate the height and width necessary to permit dental implants. The bone derived from the patient is typically taken from another portion of the jaw, the tibia or the hip. Meet with your dentist to determine which type of dental bone graft is ideal for your unique oral health challenges.
Professional Oral Health Treatment From Freedom Dental is a Phone Call Away
Whether you need a dental bone graft, an oral health exam, a cleaning, dental restoration or anything else for your mouth, Freedom Dental is at your service. Reach out to us at (707) 422-2236 to schedule an appointment.