Have you ever read a news article and felt like you weren’t getting the whole story? Many times situations are more complicated than what can be summarized in a couple hundred words.
That’s true if you are reading the news or blog post about dental issues.
Nevertheless, we are going to address a topic that relates to dental implant placement — bone grafts. This may be necessary when your implant placement is a little more complicated.
In a perfect world, this would not be any issue. Fortunately, we are prepared to deal with these not-so-perfect situations.
Nevertheless, it happens, and when it does, our team at Dental Implants and Periodontology Of Arizona will be here to help.
Why You May Want Dental Implants
For patients who are edentulous or lacking teeth, dentures are often the first option.
Initially, they are more affordable, but the longer your have traditional dentures, the more likely you will need to refit or replacement them.
A quality set of dentures is custom-fitted for your mouth. That would be all you needed if not for one big problem. Your mouth isn’t going to stay the same shape.
The reason for this is that you no longer have roots and you have not replaced your roots. This is important as it affects the condition of your jawbone.
A person with teeth (and therefore roots) is stimulating his jawbone every time he or she eats. The pressure from biting and chewing pushes the roots into the jaw. That pressure leads directly to your jaw creating new bone tissue, which replaces older tissue as it is reabsorbed.
By making new bone tissue, your jaw maintains its shape and stays healthy and strong.
When you lose your teeth, the jaw will begin to shrink unless you replace the roots. This is what the dental implants do.
With traditional dentures, your jaw does not receive the direct pressure that allows it to make enough new bone tissue to keep up with the tissue lost to reabsorption.
As you jaw gets smaller, this changes the shape of your mouth. That affects how well (or poorly) your dentures fit, which is why they can begin to feel uncomfortable and become more likely to slip out of position.
Why You May Need A Bone Graft
Dental implants have proven to be an excellent substitute for missing roots.
When implants are placed, you now have something to press into your jawbone again. So, once again, your jawbone is getting the signals that it needs to keep making new tissue. This won’t replace bone tissue that has already been lost, but it will help you sustain your jaw in its current condition.
Before you can do this, however, you do need a certain amount of bone mass to secure the implants in your jaw. The longer you live without teeth or with traditional dentures, the more bone you will lose.
With each passing year, you may be risking too much bone loss to support a set of implants. If this happens, then we would need to consider a bone graft.
In surgery, a graft is when tissue is transplanted from one place to another. In oral surgery, a bone graft involved transplanting bone tissue into your jaw where it is needed.
Bone grafts are sometimes done by transferring bone tissue from one part of a patient to another. At other times, donor bone tissue is used for this procedure.
After the tissue is grafted onto your bone, you will need time to heal. This may take months, but that will allow time for your existing bone and transplanted bone grow together.
When his this complete, you will have restored the bone mass you need to support dental implants.
Then, we can proceed with your implant placement, and in time, your implant-supported dentures.
In the long-run, the dental implant placement will make your dentures more secure, preserve the health of your jaw, and provided added strength and stability to your dentures.
This means they will function more like replacement teeth and less like purely cosmetic substitutes to improve your smile.
Is A Bone Graft Right For You?
Talking to our dentist at our office in Phoenix, AZ, is the best way to answer that question. You may find that you have sufficient bone to support a series of implants. You also may learn that you are a good candidate for a bone graft.
Either way, you will know what to do next to get your implant-supported dentures.
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