Bone Grafting for Independence, Blue Springs and Lee's Summit
Some of us may remember a time when watching Great Aunt Margene speak was distracting, because her dentures often went one way when her jaw went the other! We know this wasn’t Aunt Margene’s fault; she had simply experienced bone loss and, unfortunately, it’s not uncommon to experience bone loss in the jaw, especially around missing teeth, gum disease, trauma to or around the jaw, or other health issues. And where there is bone loss, there are also more complicated solutions. While bone loss sometimes limits the possibilities of solutions, a bone graft is a great way to restore lost bone and get the dental implants
or dentures (or anything else) you need to keep the facial shape you had before, get back the health you need, and get the aesthetics you want.
Most people do not realize how important their bone structure is for the contour of their face. While skin and fat nips and tucks can make a difference, nothing ages a face like bone loss, which results in sagging skin and unsupported muscles. If bone has begun to deteriorate, a bone graft can restore the face to its original dimensions and giving you optimal results.
Causes of Bone Loss
We lose teeth for a variety of reasons, but the most common are accidents and trauma to the mouth, tooth decay, or gum disease. The moment the jaw no longer needs to support the tooth, the bone begins to deteriorate. When the jaw is supporting a tooth, the tooth stimulates the bone around it to keep it sturdily in place. When the tooth is gone, the deterioration is quite rapid and the surrounding bone has no catalyst to regenerate itself. So, if you need a dental implant to replace a missing tooth, there must be enough surrounding bone to support it. If the bone has lost too much mass, a bone graft can really save the day!
How It Works
There are three types of bone grafts. You and your dentist
will decide which is best for you and your situation:
: These types of bone grafts use bone from a bone bank. All the tissue is screened for safety and tested before grafting.
: With this type of graft, bone is taken from somewhere else on the body and simply transplanted to the mouth or jaw. It will be taken from somewhere where a small piece of the bone is nonessential.
: Interestingly, bone grafts can come from non-human sources, as well. If a patient does not have enough bone for an implant and “a lot” of bone is needed, animal bone will be used (usually from a cow). It sounds strange, but it’s really just a “biological placeholder” and is quite effective!
The Grafting Procedure
Grafting is done under local anesthesia and your dentist will be careful to make the procedure as comfortable as possible for you. There will be a small incision through the gums where the bone loss has occurred, and the new bone (whichever type of graft your dentist has chosen) will be directly placed under the gum tissue onto the area needing treatment. The incision will be closed with tiny stitches and healing can begin. Your native bone will begin to attach itself to the new material and will eventually fully integrate, making the part that was damaged as strong as it was before any bone loss occurred!
If the graft was significant, you will likely need to wait a while before any other procedures can be performed; the amount of time will be determined by your dentist according to your needs. Some minor grafts can support another procedure on the same day, but the goal is to have strong enough bone in place for whatever else needs to be done.
The Benefits of Bone Grafting
Although a bone graft may not sound appealing at first, successful bone grafting can enable restorative procedures that improve quality of life. It is actually a common, predictable, and routine procedure! Whether your cheeks seem “sunken” or you are in need of dental implants or dentures, talk to your dentist about receiving a bone graft to get your mouth back to a strong and healthy state.
Always remember that it’s important to speak with your dentist about your medical history and your needs. You should always feel like your questions are answered and that you know your dentist has your wellbeing in mind.
Here at Dental Excellence, we have a lot of experience with a variety of reconstructive procedures, including full mouth restorations
, dental implants
, cosmetic procedures
, and more. Our staff and doctors have your comfort in mind in all we do and we hope you’ll call us today for information about how a bone graft can help you get back the smile you want!