When you lose your teeth, several things begin to happen. Aside from the obvious impact tooth loss has on the appearance of your smile, it can also affect how you eat and speak. Tooth loss can affect your digestion, which can lead to malnutrition, as well as affecting your ability to communicate effectively. There is also a hidden consequence of tooth loss. Below the gums, the bone begins to grow weaker, gradually losing mass and changing shape. This can cause healthy teeth to shift out of alignment, as well as affecting your facial appearance. If too much bone mass is lost, it can make treatment with Dental Implants more difficult. At Neil Starr, DDS, PC, we can restore missing bone mass with bone grafting.
Tooth Replacement with Dental ImplantsDental implants are a revolutionary treatment for replacing missing teeth. This treatment uses titanium posts, which are surgically implanted into your jawbone. Your bone, then gradually fuses to the posts, a process called osseointegration. When the posts have fully integrated into the jaw, they are strong and stable. These posts are then used to support the ceramic crowns that replace your missing teeth.
Restoring Bone StrengthFor dental implants to be successful, you need to have enough bone mass remaining in your jaw. However, after you lose teeth, the bone begins to resorb and grow weak. If the bone is too weak, there may not be enough to fully support the implant posts. This can cause the implants to be loose. In some cases, the implants may fail to integrate at all.
Rather than being relegated to traditional treatment, we can perform a bone graft. A bone graft is a surgical procedure that takes bone mass from elsewhere in your body, or from a donor, and places it into the weak areas of your jaw. Your natural bone then fuses to, or around, the graft material, restoring strength to your jaw.
What Types of Bone Grafts are There?There are several different types of bone grafts. During your initial consultation, we will discuss these options with you and determine which option will provide you with the best results.
|Autogenous. Autogenous grafts use bone from another location in your own body. Using your bone means there is no risk for disease transmission. Your bone is also living, so it can fuse with the bone in your jaw. However, you do require two surgical sites.
|Allogenic. Allogenic grafts use bone from a compatible donor. The bone is screened carefully to reduce the risk for disease transmission. With this type of graft, you only need one surgical site.
|Xenogenic. Xenogenic grafts use bone from another species, such as cow or pig. The bone is highly processed to reduce the risk for disease transmission.
|Synthetic materials like bone morphogenic proteins or demineralized bone matrix.
Bone Grafting ProcedureBone grafting surgery is done under both local anesthetics as well as sedation. Your sedation options will be discussed during your initial consultation. Surgery begins with incisions in your gums to expose the weak areas of your jaw. If we are using your bone, we make another incision at the donor site and remove the necessary mass. The bone graft material is placed into your jaw, and your gums are sutured closed around them. You then go home to begin the healing process. Once you have fully healed from implant surgery, we can then begin the process of dental implants.
If you have lost teeth, and your jawbone is too weak to support Dental Implants, a bone graft can restore the missing bone mass, making this revolutionary treatment possible. For more information, and to schedule your consultation, call Neil Starr, DDS, PC today at (202) 293-7177.