Part of why teeth are so important is due to their role in keeping the bones in the jaw strong and healthy. If teeth are missing, the area in which they were rooted in the jaw bone can become weak, atrophied, or diseased as a long-term result.
Why might I need a bone graft for my dental implant?
When the jaw bone is not strong, installing a dental implant into the bone is impossible and will require a
bone graft—also known as "bone augmentation"—to rebuild the jaw's strength.
There are a few reasons why a jaw bone may not be able to support a dental implant:
- Bone loss from prior tooth loss
- Congenital birth conditions
- Previous injury to the jaw bone
- Advanced gum disease
- Insufficient bone density and thickness
This is not to say that dental implants cannot be placed in a person's mouth, but rather than an extra step must be taken before the implants in order for them to be successful. This extra step is a bone graft.
Benefits of a Bone Graft
Bone grafts can generally be done in an outpatient setting using bone harvested from a person's own body or from that of an animal. Usually, this will be done with sterilized bone from a cow. The animal bone will be used as a placeholder for a person's own bone matter, and will initially work to prevent the further collapse of surrounding soft tissue in the jaw. The body will be tricked into thinking the bone is biologically its own so that it rebuilds the placeholder with the patient's natural bone.
A bone graft may seem intimidating, but it can be the best option if:
- Bone must be restored to its previous form for dental implants
- Tooth removal has caused the need for bone structure
- Cosmetic appearance is affected by bone loss
Bone grafts may be the best option to increase the health of teeth, gums, and the underlying bone.
Consulting with Dr. Roya Mirkhan at Advanced Dentistry & Implant Center will determine whether or not a bone graft is needed for your dental implant. Should it be necessary, know that it will increase the chances of a successful dental implant, leaving you one step closer to the smile of your dreams! Call (858) 348-5859 today!