Multiple Tooth Implant
If you are missing teeth, it is likely you have been recommended for dental implant surgery. There are many reasons why a person would lose a tooth. It can happen due to an accident, gum disease, untreated tooth decay, or simply by aging. Immediately after your tooth falls out, you begin to experience bone loss in the jaw. This bone loss can prevent you from being able to get dental implants, at least initially.
Bone grafting allows for treatments such as dental implants but is also used to repair injuries and congenital defects, as well as in reconstructive surgery after cancer treatments. Ephrata Family Dentistry has a highly-skilled team of dentists who offer both general and specialist dental care, including bone grafting. This procedure is used when there is bone loss in the jaw.
What Causes Bone Loss in the Jaw?
A healthy jawbone is paramount if you want to maintain healthy teeth and if you would like to get dental implants. If the bone starts to deteriorate, bone loss in either the upper (maxilla) or lower (mandibular) jawbone may lead to tooth loss.
Various factors may contribute to bone loss, including periodontal disease, an advanced form of gum disease, that causes major damage to the supporting bone and tissues surrounding teeth if left untreated. Trauma (accident) where a tooth is knocked out, tooth extraction, and bite abnormalities or misalignment of the teeth or jawbones may also result in bone degeneration.
Tooth loss is one of the most common causes of bone loss in the jaw. This is because the jawbone is preserved by the act of chewing. Rather like muscles that wither if not used, if a tooth is missing, that part of the jawbone is not stimulated, causing the bone to atrophy and reabsorb into the body.
How Do I Prevent Bone Loss?
The easiest way to prevent bone loss is with a good oral health regime of brushing and flossing twice daily, combined with regular visits to the dentist twice a year for check-ups and preventive care procedures, such as professional teeth cleaning.
How is Bone Loss in the Jaw Treated?
If you have bone loss in the jaw it can be treated with a bone graft procedure, which is effective in reversing bone loss. The procedure is carried out under surgical conditions and builds up the jawbone sufficiently for placing dental implants. A bone graft is sometimes referred to as a sinus lift or sinus augmentation if the bone is added in the upper jaw between the maxillary sinuses, on either side of the nose.
What Material Is Used in a Bone Graft?
Large defects from traumatic injuries, congenital defects, and tumor surgery typically require major bone grafts using the patient’s own bone. This will be harvested from other sites across the body, including the hip or the outer knee.
Minor bone grafts, such as jawbone augmentation, are typically carried out using synthetic bone graft material that is biocompatible, has similar properties and over a period of months fuses with existing bone to form a solid and stable base for the insertion of dental implants.
Is a Bone Graft Suitable for Me?
You will need to speak to one of our dentists about your suitability for a bone graft. It is a common procedure for patients who would otherwise be unable to benefit from dental implants. However, it must be understood that a bone graft is a separate, surgical procedure and it will take several months before the bone graft has fused sufficiently with the jawbone to hold a dental implant. After it heals, you will be ready for your single tooth, or multiple tooth, dental implant.