Could A Bone Graft Restore Your Smile?
Oral surgery is not exactly the most pleasant topic for everyday conversation. Nevertheless, it’s something that is worth discussing, especially if you or someone you care about is considering dental implants.
We have spoken about the benefits of dental implants in previous posts. They make for complete teeth replacements. They make related services (dental crowns, bridges, and dentures) stronger and more stable.
They help to support any remaining natural teeth in your mouth, and they help you maintain a healthy jaw.
And that brings us back oral surgery.
Specifically, it leads us to bone grafts, an often necessary but valuable procedure that can make it possible for people to receive dental implants.
At Hubbard & Leath Dental, our dentists recommend bone grafts for patients who want dental implants but do not have sufficient bone to support them.
Today, we will discuss the factors that affect your bone health, how this affects your eligibility to receive dental implants, and how bone grafts can help.
To learn more, call or make an appointment at our dentist office in Rochester Hills, MI.
Healthy And Unhealthy Jawbone
You may know someone who is missing all of his or her teeth. Even if you don’t, you have probably seen a photo of someone who has lost all his or her teeth.
There are some distinguishing features among people who are toothless. One of them is that their face appears to be sinking in on itself.
Part of that reason for that is that their jaws are shrinking. This is a direct result of not having teeth.
It’s also why dentists are advocates for replacing lost teeth as soon as possible.
When you have all your teeth, they have a mutually beneficial connection with your jaw.
The roots of your teeth act as anchors that hold your teeth in position. This works best when they are anchored to something solid and strong, namely, a healthy jawbone.
As it turns out, your roots also play a role in keeping your jawbone healthy.
Our bones go through a process called resorption, which is when old bone tissue is reabsorbed. A healthy bone creates new bone tissue to replace the old one. This process is how the bone retains its strength and shape.
Our jawbones make that new tissue as a direct response to the pressure they receive through the roots of our teeth when we bite and chew.
If you remove someone’s teeth, they don’t have roots. It follows that his or her jawbone does not get the signal to make new tissue, and as a result, his or her jaw begins to shrinks as the older tissue is reabsorbed.
Dental Implants And Your Jaw
One of the many reasons that dentist encourage patients to get dental implants is that they replace the roots of their missing teeth. Implants press into your jaw like your roots once did, and that continues the process of new tissue creation.
In order to get dental implants, you must have a sufficient amount of bone mass to hold the implant in place.
Think of it this way, you would need to dig a hole if you wanted to place a six-foot tall post in the ground.
If you dug that hole two-feet deep, the post would have sufficient support to remain upright (after you filled in the hole). On the other hand, if you could only dig a six-inch hole, then you would not be as confident that your post would remain standing.
If you don’t have enough bone to support your implants, then your implants may not remain in place for long.
The longer you wait to replace your missing tooth or teeth, the more bone mass you will lose. If you wait too long, then we won’t be able to place your implants until we rebuild your jaw.
Rebuilding Your Jaw
This is where bone grafts can be a life-saver.
A bone graft involves transplanting bone tissue into your jaw where you do not have enough bone mass for a dental implant.
This tissue can come from another part of your body or we can get bone tissue from a donor. After the tissue is grafted onto your jaw, you will need time to heal.
As you heal, your existing jawbone and the grafted tissue will grow together. This will improve your bone mass, and that will give you the necessary support for your dental implants.
Time To Smile
Bone grafting is a special kind of oral surgery that it has made it possible for many patients to receive dental implants.
We have seen how much of a difference this can make at our office in Rochester Hills, MI. Our dentists would gladly discuss if this is a good option for you, too.