If you have missing teeth, you might be considering dental implants. One thing that can make you a good candidate for this very effective form of tooth replacement is a strong jawbone. However, if you have lost some of the mass in your jawbone over time, bone grafts can help.
Bone grafting can be necessary for dental implants in various circumstances. Most commonly, the patient has had missing teeth for some time, and the jawbone has atrophied. Without a tooth root to stimulate its natural regenerative processes, the jawbone tends to decrease in mass. It’s also possible that your jawbone is naturally not as thick as your implant dentist would prefer. This is more common on the upper jaw than the lower, since the size of the sinus cavities can affect the thickness of the upper jawbones.
A strong foundation is vital for successful implants. The implant includes a root portion that holds the new tooth firmly in place and allows you to eat and chew just like you did with your original teeth. However, in order for the implant to be effective, there must be sufficient bone mass. The bone tissue bonds to the implant, which holds the implant stationary. In turn, the implant helps stimulate further growth in the jawbone, keeping it healthy long term.
A bone graft involves a surgical procedure. The bone itself might come from another area of your body, or might be cadaver bone. You and your implant dentist will work together to determine the best approach for your circumstances.
On the lower jaw, the bone is grafted to the gum side of the jawbone. On the upper jaw, it is often grafted to the sinus side of the bone. This procedure is referred to as a sinus lift. The tissues that line the sinus cavities are lifted out of the way so the bone graft can be put in place. If you must have bone grafts before your dental implant procedure, you’ll have to wait for several weeks for the new bone to properly bond before implants can be placed.
Call The Center For Oral Surgery of Las Vegas to speak with one of our specialists and begin the process of getting a strong foundation with bone grafts.