Bone loss to the jaw is one of the most serious consequences of missing teeth. It begins as soon as a tooth is lost, when the natural stimulation for bone growth created by the force of teeth chewing can no longer occur. The result can be dramatic—the width of the bone can reduce by 25% in the first year alone after tooth loss.
Progressive bone loss can affect your mouth in a number of ways, such as a decrease in gum tissue. It can also limit your choices for tooth replacement. Losing more and more teeth (and bone along with them) could alter your facial appearance if the distance between the nose and chin noticeably shortens as the years go by.
Fortunately, excessive bone loss isn’t inevitable if you lose a tooth. Dentists can perform bone grafting procedures with materials that stimulate new bone growth at the missing tooth site. And, if placed immediately after a tooth extraction, grafting can prevent excessive bone loss and allow for future dental implants to be placed.
What’s The Reason for a Bone Graft?
If a dental implant is to be successful then it needs to be placed into sufficient healthy jawbone. This is necessary for the bone to fuse with the titanium implant so that it’s held securely in place and able to support the additional weight of a prosthetic crown. For patients who have suffered bone loss and don’t have sufficient bone, then one solution can be a bone graft.
How Much Bone Is Needed Around a Dental Implant?
As a general guideline, at least 1 mm of bone is required around a dental implant. More space is required when the implant is next to a tooth or another implant (2 and 3 mm respectively). If there is not enough bone to completely envelope the implant, a bone graft will be required.
When evaluating the height of bone, there should simply be enough bone that the implant will be completely submerged. However, it is important to ensure that the implant does not go so deep as to impinge on other anatomic structures (eg the nerve in the bottom jaw, or the sinus in the upper jaw). When placing implants in the upper jaw, there may not be enough room vertically, and a sinus lift may be required to rebuild bone.
What Is The Bone Grafting Procedure Like?
Bone grafting is quite straightforward and is only carried out once your dentist has determined that you don’t have the quality or quantity of bone that is required to give a dental implant its best chance of success.
Most likely you will be put to sleep for this procedure. No matter what, the area will be numbed with anesthesia. This applies to your gums and to any area from which bone is being removed. Next, an incision will be made in your gum tissue and a flap created so that your bone is visible. This allows the surgeon to identify exactly how much bone needs to be placed there. If bone is being taken from somewhere else, an incision will be made so that the bone can be extracted at this time. Grafting material will be placed where the bone once was and that area will be stitched up. Next, the new bone will be anchored to your jawbone using a titanium screw. Other grafting material may be used to surround that new block of bone. Some surgeons may also place membrane material around the bone graft. Afterward, the area will be closed and sutured.
Where Does The Material for the Bone Graft Come from?
In essence there are four choices for a bone graft:
- Autogeous – bone from the patient;
- Allograft – bone from another human (freeze dried and stored in a tissue bank);
- Xenograft – bone obtained from animals, usually bovine;
- Synthetic graft– mineral substitute. Typically bone taken from the patient gives the best results.
If you’re considering a dental implant in Oxnard, Ventura County then why not book a complimentary implant consultation with Anacapa Dental Art Institute. We’re a busy dentist in Oxnard with a team of highly trained implant dentists. Dr. Saj Jivraj will carry out a thorough examination and, in the event that you do need a bone graft will explain all the risks and benefits of each type of graft and answer any questions or concerns you may have. Call us today on (805) 988-3317 to start the ball rolling.
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Anacapa Dental Art Institute is proud of their dedicated service to Ventura County. Lead by world-renowned top cosmetic prosthodontist Dr. Jivraj and his expert staff, Anacapa has the expertise and facility to handle whatever your cosmetic dental situation may be. Whether it’s a tooth whitening or a full mouth reconstruction, expect nothing but some of the best dental care Ventura County has available.
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About Your Oxnard, CA Cosmetic Dentist:
We look forward to providing families with exceptional care and advanced treatment options. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Jivraj contact our Oxnard, CA, dental office today by calling 805-988-3317. Our office at 2821 N Ventura Road, Oxnard, CA 93036 welcomes patients in and around Oxnard, CA, including Santa Barbara, Woodland Hills, Ventura, and the surrounding Southern California communities.
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