Dental bone grafting becomes necessary when a person doesn’t have enough healthy natural bone to support dental implants. This may be caused by gum disease, developmental defects, trauma or injury to the face, or even leaving a space after tooth removal. Most people do not understand that the loss of a tooth can cause the bone to deteriorate. The alveolar is a bone whose only job is to hold the teeth in place and to support them. When a tooth is removed, this bone can atrophy because it has nothing to do.
Furthermore, chewing tends to strengthen the jawbone and to build it up. When the alveolar bone deteriorates, then the jawbone may also suffer loss. As such, because dental implants need the bones for support and stability, if there is not enough bone to work with, putting the implant in becomes impossible. A bone graft may then become necessary in order to fix the problem.
What is a bone graft?
It is really the addition of bone material to the jaw. The dentist will need to make a cut in your jaw and then attach the grafts or bone material to it. This will help restore bone where there has been loss. It is preferable to use one’s own bone, which can be taken from the tibia, hip, or the back your jaw. This is ideal because it promotes the formation of new born and also faster healing. There are four sources of bones for the grafts.
Sources of bone for dental bone grafts
- Autografts – These are grafts done with bones that have been taken from the patient’s body. They can be from the jaw, hip or tibia.
- Xenografts – These are bones that have been taken from a different species and can include bones from coral, pigs, or cows.
- Allografts – These are bones that have been taken from another person. Usually a cadaver bone is used.
- Alloplasts – These are ‘bones’ created from synthetic materials. They include bioglass (calcium sodium phosphosilicate) or calcium phosphate.
An ideal candidate for bone grafting
Ideal candidates for bone grafting include people with the following conditions:
- Someone who is in need of dental implants but does not have strong enough bone to support the implant – Since dental implants are really artificial teeth roots, they need to be screwed firmly in the jaw.
- Someone who has suffered bone loss due to gum disease or tooth loss – The graft will help to support the deteriorated part of the jaw bone. This stabilizes the jaw and prevents more bone loss, thus reducing long-term complications. If gum disease is the problem, it must be well treated in order to avoid further loss of teeth and also heart disease.
- Someone whose facial features have been altered by the bone loss – The loss of bone in the jaw can actually make one’s face look shorter. If the bone loss is in the lower jaw, it may protrude forward. Additionally, the muscles around the lips as well as the lips can change their appearance. Wrinkles may also appear in the skin that surrounds the jaw area.
Tijuana dental surgeons carry out bone grafts and can help you resolve the problem you are having to deal with due to bone loss in the jaw.