If you lose a tooth, it is possible to replace it with an implant that looks just like the real thing. Modern dental technology can fabricate teeth that look and feel just like your natural ones. However, these teeth need to be installed directly into your jawline, like a real tooth is. This ensures the implant remains a permanent part of your body, but it also requires that you have enough jaw bone for the implant to be placed into.
In some cases, a patient may not have a stable foundation in which to place the implant. In that case, the bone must be restored in one of two ways. The bone can either be regrown naturally, or a bone graft can be used to provide a strong foundation for the tooth. In this article, we’ll discuss how bone grafts are used for dental implants.
What are bone grafts?
Bone grafting involves taking bone from one place, and moving it to another more desirable place. The bone itself can come from your own body, from a donor body, from animal bones, or be synthetically made. Of these, using the patient’s own tissue is considered the preferred and recommended method. In cases where the patient’s own tissue won’t work well, there may be other options to consider. Most often, bone is generally removed from your hip or chin.
Why would I need a dental bone graft?
Periodontal (or gum disease) can cause bone loss in your jaw. The bacteria eats through your gums, causes tooth decay, and eventually makes its way into the jawline where it begins damaging bone.
Another reason why you may need a bone graft prior to a dental implant is that you’ve been missing the tooth for an extended period of time. Your body works a particular way and efficiently provides energy to the places that need it most. If you’ve been missing your tooth for an extended period of time, the area in your jaw that would support the tooth will actually recede creating a divot where the tooth once was. Your dentist must restore the missing jawbone to install the abutment that supports the dental implant.
Alternatives to dental bone grafts
Right now, there are limited alternatives to bone grafts or other types of intervention. The best way to prevent socket reduction after a tooth has been removed is to replace it immediately with an implant or ask your dentist to install a temporary fixture.
Learn More about Dental Implant Bone Grafts Today
If you’re concerned about your tooth loss, a Flagstaff, AZ dentist can help prevent bone loss caused by the missing tooth or find ways to restore bone loss after the tooth comes out. Call Peak Family Dental Care in Sedona today to discuss your questions in more detail, and we can begin the process of restoring your smile.