Missing teeth can cause jawbone deterioration, leading to further tooth loss and a sunken facial appearance.
Bone grafting rebuilds the jaw, allowing patients to qualify for dental implant placement.
What Is Bone Grafting?
Bone grafting is a surgical procedure that uses natural tissue (allograft) or synthetic bone material to rebuild lost tissue in the jaw. When you lose a tooth, the jawbone loses the stimulation the tooth roots once provided, and bone loss can occur. As the jawbone begins to shrink, facial tissues, like the lips and cheeks, can take on a sunken appearance. Jawbone atrophy can also cause further tooth loss if you have remaining natural teeth.
Dental implants can halt jaw atrophy. However, as the jawbone shrinks, there is often insufficient tissue to support implants. A surgical bone graft rebuilds the lost tissue and creates a solid foundation to support implants and custom restorations.
When Is Bone Grafting Necessary?
Inadequate bone density is the primary reason patients require bone grafting, as implants need sufficient bone to graft to. Patients who have suffered from tooth loss for an extended amount of time are more likely to need a bone graft. Bone loss occurs even if the patient replaces missing teeth with a traditional dental bridge or denture, since these restorations only replace the visible portion of the teeth, not the tooth roots.
Patients who must undergo tooth extraction prior to dental implant surgery may also need a bone graft. The bone graft material preserves the tooth socket and prevents bone loss.
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See How Bone Grafting is Performed
Bone Graft Treatment Timeline
Adequate bone tissue improves dental implant success. After bone grafting, patients can enjoy a lifetime of permanent and stable restorations supported by dental implants.