Losing teeth causes several significant complications. Some of these complications are immediately noticeable. When you lose teeth, your smile suffers. Eating becomes more challenging, and you may develop a lisp or other speech difficulties. Under the gums, something else begins to occur. Tooth loss eventually leads to bone loss in your jaw, which causes it to weaken. While dental implants are a great solution for stopping bone loss and helping to maintain the integrity of your jaw, the posts rely on your jawbone for success. Mid Valley Dental can make implants possible with bone grafting.
Your Teeth and Your Jawbone
Your teeth play an integral role in the health of your jawbone. The teeth stimulate your jawbone every time you chew. This stimulation lets your body know that nutrients are required. Your body sends these nutrients to your jaw, helping to keep it strong and healthy.
After tooth loss, however, your jawbone loses the stimulation from the teeth that are missing. With less stimulation, your body begins to think fewer nutrients are required, and therefore sends fewer. With fewer nutrients, your jawbone begins to grow weaker and resorb. This can also cause the bone to change shape, altering your bite and causing several other serious complications.
The Importance of Bone Mass for Implants
Dental implants are an incredibly effective treatment for replacing missing teeth. They also provide a whole host of amazing benefits. Among these benefits is the ability of the posts to restore stimulation to your jawbone. This restores the delivery of nutrients to your jaw to help it remain strong and healthy.
For the implants to be successful, however, your jawbone needs to have enough bone mass remaining. Implants rely on a process called osseointegration. During this process, your jawbone fuses to the posts, stabilizing them within your jaw so that they can hold your teeth securely in place. Without enough bone mass, the jawbone cannot properly fuse, which can ultimately lead to implant failure.
What is a Bone Graft?
Just because your jawbone is weak, this does not mean implants are not possible. We can increase the success of implants using a bone graft. A bone graft is a surgical procedure that involves transplanting bone mass into your jawbone to restore its strength and integrity. This bone mass can be harvested from your own body, or it can be taken from a donor. As you heal from your bone graft, your existing jawbone fuses too, or around, the graft material. Once you have fully healed, the implants can then be placed.
Types of Bone Grafts
There are a few different types of bone grafts that may be performed to restore bone mass to your jawbone. These include:
|Autografts. An autograft uses bone that is harvested from your body. This requires an additional surgical site, usually around your hip or near your tibia. The greatest benefit of this type of graft, though, is that there is no risk for disease transmission or graft rejection.
|Allografts. An allograft uses human bone tissue taken from a tissue bank. The bone is screened thoroughly to reduce the risk of any complications. The greatest advantage of this type of graft is that you avoid the need for an additional surgical site.
|Xenografts. A xenograft uses bone material harvested from a non-human source. The bone, typically taken from a cow, is processed at very high temperatures to render it safe for use. These types of grafts are often used when larger amounts of bone mass are required. Like allografts, you avoid the need for an extra surgical site.
Unsure about your next steps? Visit us for an initial dental exam and let us guide you.
If you have suffered bone loss and your jaw is too weak initially to support dental implants, a bone graft can help. To find out if a bone graft is a right solution for you, call Mid Valley Dental at (920) 215-4160 to schedule your appointment today.