Over a period of time, the jawbone associated with missing teeth atrophies or is reabsorbed. This often leaves a condition in which there is poor quality and quantity of bone suitable for placement of dental implants. In these situations, most patients are not candidates for placement of dental implants.
Today, we have the ability to grow bone where needed. This not only gives us the opportunity to place implants of proper length and width, it also gives us a chance to restore functionality and aesthetic appearance.
Bone grafting can repair implant sites with inadequate bone structure due to previous extractions, gum disease or injuries. The bone is either obtained from a tissue bank or your own bone is taken from the jaw, hip or tibia (below the knee). Sometimes xenograft materials from a bovine source can be utilized. Sinus bone grafts are also performed to replace bone in the posterior upper jaw. In addition, special membranes may be utilized that dissolve under the gum and protect the bone graft as well as encourage bone regeneration. Depending on the situation, these bone grafts are known as ridge augmentation, guided bone regeneration or guided tissue regeneration.
When one or more teeth are missing, it can lead to jaw bone loss at the site of the gap. This loss of jawbone can develop into additional problems, both with your appearance and your overall health. You may experience pain, problems with your remaining teeth, an altered facial appearance, and eventually even the inability to speak and eat normally.
In that same way that muscles are maintained through exercise, bone tissue is maintained by use. Natural teeth are embedded in the jawbone, and stimulate the jawbone through activities such as chewing and biting. When teeth are missing, the alveolar bone, or the portion of the jawbone that anchors the teeth in the mouth, no longer receives the necessary stimulation, and begins to break down, or resorb. The body no longer uses or “needs” the jaw bone, so it deteriorates and goes away.
Potential Consequences of Tooth and Jaw Bone Loss
About Bone Grafting
Autogenous Bone Grafts:
Types of Bone Grafting Procedures
Here at Littleton Implants & Periodontics, we put a special emphasis on patient comfort and education. We want to make sure each patient is fully informed of his or her diagnosis and treatment plan and feels comfortable and confident in our office. Please let us know of any specific concerns or fears you may have regarding your treatment. We’re happy to answer questions or address concerns or fears and will do our best to eliminate them. Read More »
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