When you lose teeth, several things happen. First, your smile is significantly affected. Your speech suffers, and it becomes more difficult to bite and chew effectively. Under the gums, something else occurs, too. When you lose teeth, you begin to lose bone mass in the jaw. Dental implants are an incredibly popular treatment for replacing missing teeth that not only restore the functions of your missing teeth, but they also help to put an end to bone loss as well. However, without enough bone mass in your jaw, implants may not be successful. At West End Dental, we can help to make implants possible with bone grafting
Bone Loss and Implant Success
One of the jobs of your teeth is to stimulate your jawbone. This stimulation is critical in keeping your jawbone strong and healthy. When you suffer tooth loss, your jawbone loses some of its stimulation. This results in fewer nutrients being sent to the jaw, which causes it to grow weak over time. While dental implants help to stop and prevent bone loss, they require sufficient bone mass for support. If you have lost too much bone mass, your jaw cannot properly fuse to the posts, which can result in loose implants and unstable restorations. If you have lost too much bone mass to support dental implant posts, a bone graft can help to restore strength to your jaw, which then enables it to provide the necessary support for dental implant success.
Bone grafting is a surgical procedure that involves taking bone tissue from one area of the body, or from a compatible donor, and transplanting it to another area where bone is weak. In this case, the procedure involves transplanting bone mass to weak areas of your jawbone. Bone is generally taken from either your hip or tibia, or it is taken from a compatible donor from a tissue bank. After the graft is complete, your existing bone fuses to the graft material, restoring jaw strength, allowing for successful dental implant placement.
Types of Bone Grafting
There are a few different types of bone grafts that may be performed. During your initial consultation, we perform a thorough oral exam to determine your exact needs and go over your grafting options to determine the best type of graft for you.
||Autograft. This is a graft that involves using your bone tissue. While an additional surgical site is needed, there is no risk for disease transmission or graft rejection.
||Allograft. This type of graft uses donor bone tissue taken from a tissue bank. The tissue is screened before use to reduce the risk of disease transmission and rejection. There is not need for an additional surgical site to harvest bone tissue.
||Xenograft. A xenograft uses tissue taken from a non-human species, usually a cow. Bone is processed at high temperatures to make it safe to use. Like an allograft, there is no need for an additional surgical site.
||Alloplast. An alloplast involves the use of synthetic materials, such as demineralized bone matrix or bone morphogenic proteins.
Bone Grafting Surgery
Bone grafting is done using a surgical procedure. Surgery is performed under a local anesthetic as well as sedation, which helps to ensure optimal comfort. We begin by creating incisions in your gum tissue to expose the weak areas of bone. Next, the bone graft material is placed in your jaw. The gums are sutured closed, and you go home to begin the recovery process. Once you have fully healed, we can then begin the process of placing your dental implants.
With bone grafting, we can help to restore strength to your jawbone, increasing the success of dental implants for tooth replacement. For more information on bone grafting, and to schedule your consultation, call West End Dental at (503) 446-2957 today.