Bone grafts may be needed for some patients who are undergoing dental reconstruction, but they aren’t always necessary and can be avoided in some situations. If you’re missing teeth, it’s a good idea to get them replaced as soon as you can—here’s what you need to know about bone grafts and implants.
Like any other part of your body, your jaw becomes stronger the more it is used. If you’re missing teeth, however, it may begin to weaken, since the jawbone is not being put to work in the same way. If you’ve been missing teeth for a long period of time, then your jaw may begin to experience bone loss.
Bone loss can be problematic for a number of reasons. For one, it can make your jaw weaker and more likely to experience problems; for another, it can alter your facial structure and lead to a shrunken mouth or weak chin, increasing the appearance of age. Finally, bone loss can make future reconstructive dentistry more difficult, since implants need a firm place to attach.
Generally, bone loss in the jaw is treated through bone grafts. In this procedure, bone material from an animal such as a cow is processed until all organic material is removed, leaving behind a mineral framework. The periodontist attaches this to the patient’s jaw, so that the body will mistake the structure for part of the jaw and begin regrowing the bone and tissues necessary to keep the jaw strong.
Bone grafts can be highly beneficial for patients who have experienced problems with bone loss; however, they generally require significant recovery time and delay the insertion of implants.
Patients without bone loss, however, can avoid the need for bone grafts if they get preventative treatment as soon as possible. Dental implants can fulfill the same role as natural teeth, encouraging the jaw to remain healthy and strong; the insertion of All on 4 dental implants can help prevent the need for bone grafts if it is done early. To learn more about this procedure, contact our office today.