Bone loss in the jaw is a natural occurrence following tooth loss. An essential function of your teeth is the stimulation of your jaw when you chew. Stimulation tells your body to send nutrients that are necessary for your jaw and the surrounding structures. When you lose your teeth, even if it is just one or two, the stimulation lessens. As a result, fewer nutrients are sent. Eventually, the bone begins to grow weak and can even begin to change shape and throw off your bite.
Dental implants are a popular treatment for replacing missing teeth. This treatment involves the implantation of titanium rods into the jawbone. The bone then fuses to the implants to turn them into stable roots that provide support for replacement teeth. However, implants require sufficient bone mass for this fusion to occur. Without it, implants are more likely to fail. Just because you are missing the bone mass necessary to support dental implants does not necessarily mean implants are an impossibility. At Timothy H. Kindt, DDS, we can make implants possible with bone grafting.
What Is a Bone Graft?
The success of dental implants hinges on a process known as osseointegration. This is the process in which your jawbone fuses to the titanium, helping to turn the implants into stable roots that are then used to support your new teeth. However, for osseointegration to be successful, there needs to be sufficient bone mass remaining in the jaw. Too little bone mass can result in insufficient osseointegration and weak implants. Implants may be loose, which can cause replacement teeth to wobble in the mouth, or they may even fall out completely. A bone graft is a surgical procedure that is designed to restore the missing bone mass in your jaw. In doing so, strong, stable dental implants can become a reality.
What Types of Bone Grafts Are There?
Before undergoing a bone graft, we first evaluate your mouth. This evaluation includes a visual exam as well as digital images. It is designed to give us the complete picture of the condition of your mouth. After we have looked at your mouth, we will determine the best types of bone grafts for your mouth and discuss your options with you. There are a few different types of bone grafts.
How Is a Bone Graft Done?
A bone graft is a surgical procedure. Before we begin, you are given a local anesthetic and sedation. The anesthetic allows you to feel no pain during the procedure. Sedation allows you to relax. Surgery begins with small incisions in the gum tissue, exposing the bone underneath. Next, the bone graft material is packed into the weakened areas of the jaw. Finally, the gums are sutured closed, and you can go home to begin your recovery. Once recovery is complete, a process that can take several months, then the process for dental implants can begin.
Bone grafting restores missing bone mass in your jaw, which can then make dental implants, and all of their benefits, a reality. Call Timothy H. Kindt, DDS, for more information and to schedule your consultation today at (480) 939-5818.