When you think about the consequences of missing teeth, what comes to mind? Many people think of the impact that missing teeth have on their smile. Others think of the impact on their ability to perform basic functions, such as eating. While these are serious consequences, something else happens, too. When you lose teeth, your jawbone begins to resorb and weaken. As it does, it changes shape, altering the shape of your face. It can also cause adjacent teeth to shift, which can lead to alignment issues, and jaw pain. Dental implants, the latest option for replacing missing teeth, can help to stop this from happening. However, if you have waited too long before seeking dental help, your jawbone may not be strong enough for implants. At Tran Family Dentistry & Associates, we can replace missing bone mass, restoring your jaw and making it suitable for implants, with bone grafting.
What is bone grafting?
When you lack sufficient bone mass in your jaw to successfully support dental implants, a bone graft can help to restore strength and structure. A bone graft is a surgical procedure that involved taking bone material (either your own or through a donor) and placing it in the compromised areas of your jaw. As you heal, your existing jaw will fuse with the graft, effectively restoring your jaw and making it suitable for dental implants.
Different Types of Bone Grafts
There are multiple types of bone graft, and we can help to determine which will provide you with the best possible results:
We may also choose to use a synthetic bone graft substitute. These synthetic materials fill the space left behind by resorption. Examples of bone graft substitutes include demineralized bone matrix and bone morphogenic proteins.
Bone Graft Procedure
Your bone graft starts with a consultation. During this consultation, we will do a close, visual examination of your mouth. We will also conduct any images, such as x-rays, which provide us with insight as to what is happening under your jaw line. The x-rays also allow us to create a customized treatment plan.
We begin with a local anesthetic at the surgical site. When the area is numb, we then make the necessary incisions on your gum tissue, which provides us with access to your jawbone. For an autogenous bone graft, we will also numb the donor area of your body. We take the necessary bone mass and pack it into the surgical site. Your gums are then stitched closed, as is the donor site (if we have used your bone). Once your jaw has sufficiently healed, we can then discuss placing dental implants to restore your missing teeth.
If you have been told that your jaw is too weak for dental implants, you may be a candidate for bone grafting. Contact Tran Family Dentistry & Associates at (206) 212-0394 to schedule your consultation today!