Tooth loss is a serious issue that has many significant effects on your life. Many of these effects are immediately apparent. Losing teeth affects your smile and facial features, makes eating more difficult, and affects your speech. Under your gums, another issue occurs. Tooth loss leads to the loss of mass in your jawbone. As the bone loses mass, it becomes weak and changes shape. While dental implants
are the most popular choice for replacing missing teeth, their placement becomes more difficult as the bone weakens. Without sufficient bone mass, implants may be loose or even fail. At Optimum Oral Surgery Group, we can help to make dental implants possible with a bone graft.
Tooth Loss and Bone Loss
The teeth play a very important role in the health and integrity of your jawbone. Every time you chew, your teeth stimulate your jawbone. This stimulation triggers your body to send essential nutrients to your jaw, helping to keep healthy and strong. When you suffer tooth loss, your jaw loses stimulation. When this happens, fewer nutrients are sent. Over time, the bone gradually begins to lose mass, which causes it to grow weak. As the bone weakens, it begins to change shape, which can then alter the alignment of adjacent teeth. Bone loss also impacts the appearance of your face and can lead to sagging skin and wrinkles.
What is a Bone Graft?
For dental implants to be placed successfully, you need to have sufficient bone mass remaining in your jaw. Without enough bone mass, your implants may be loose, or they may fail. However, just because you do not have enough bone mass to support implants during your initial implant consultation does not mean that you cannot get implants at all.
A bone graft is a surgical procedure that is performed to make dental implants possible. During the procedure, bone tissue harvested from another area of your own body or a donor is transplanted into the weak areas of your jaw. As you heal from surgery, your bone fuses to, or around, the graft material, restoring strength and shape to the bone. Once you have fully healed from a bone graft, then the implant process can begin.
What Types of Bone Grafts Are There?
There are a few different types of bone grafts that can be used to strengthen your jaw. The type of bone graft you receive will depend upon your specific situation. During your initial consultation, we go over your options and determine the best type of graft to meet your needs. Types of bone grafts include:
||Autografts. An autograft uses bone mass from another area of your own body. Using your tissue means there is no risk of disease transmission and rarely rejection. However, two surgical sites are needed.
||Allografts. An autograft uses bone material from a suitable donor. The tissue is taken from a tissue bank and is thoroughly screened before use. Only one surgical site is needed.
||Xenografts. A xenograft uses bone from a non-human species, typically a cow. The bone is processed at very high temperatures to reduce the risk of complications. Again, only one surgical site is needed.
||Synthetic materials. In some cases, synthetic grafting materials, such as bone morphogenic proteins, are used.
A bone graft can help to restore strength to your jawbone following tooth loss, making the successful placement of dental implants possible. Call Optimum Oral Surgery Group at (856) 437-4432 today
to learn more and schedule your consultation.