Maintaining a natural and beautiful smile is important to many patients, but tooth loss doesn’t only affect your smile’s appearance. It can also have significant implications for your overall jawbone, which requires regular stimulation in order to maintain its natural shape. Without a sturdy jawbone, a dental implant won’t be able to reliably stay in place for very long. With the help of our oral surgeon, Dr. Christopher Hock, we can improve your viability to receive dental implants and restore your smile to the fullest! Give our office a call to get started!
In order to maintain the size and shape of the gum ridge, also known as the alveolar ridge, a bone graft may need to be performed. This is common for teeth that are lost or removed. After a tooth is removed from the jaw, the bone inside the jaw can begin to break down and shrink due to the lack of stimulation. One of the most important factors to consider when choosing dental implants is the amount of bone inside your jaw. If it’s too thin, then a bone graft can be performed to increase it’s overall volume.
Those who have had missing teeth for an extended period of time will likely have developed some bone resorption. Bone resorption is simply another term to describe bone that has receded back into the body where it can be used elsewhere. Since teeth roots are responsible for stimulating bone tissue as you chew, their loss results in that bone atrophying and melting away. To help regrow your bone, Dr. Hock can take bone tissue from another area of your mouth and use it to rebuild the bone lost in your jaw. He may also used donated bone from a cadaver if necessary.
If you know that you’re going to have a tooth pulled, either because of tooth decay or physical trauma, our office wants to do everything possible to maintain your current bone structure following the extraction. By placing freeze-dried granules of human bone inside of your tooth socket, we can suture the extraction site shut and give it time to heal over the next several weeks or months. This depends on whether you want a denture or dental implant to fill the space in your jaw.
The most obvious benefit of bone grafting, especially right after a tooth is extracted, is the fact that you can save your existing natural bone tissue from resorption. It’s the most proactive solution for those who want to replace teeth later, especially using dental implants. As time goes by and you haven’t replaced your tooth, nearby teeth will begin to shift into the open space left behind, causing your bite to become uneven. With every tooth you lose, your risk for future tooth loss also goes up. It can even increase your risk for decay and nearby healthy teeth and periodontal disease! The sooner you get a bone graft, the easier it is for you to replace your missing tooth and prevent the long-term consequences associated with tooth loss.