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Gum disease, decay, facial trauma, and injury can all lead to tooth loss. When teeth are present, they stimulate the jawbone when you bite and chew. But if lost teeth are not replaced, the jawbone underneath will progressively decay due to the lack of stimulation.
Dentures and dental bridges won’t fix this because they rest on top of the gums and don’t penetrate down to the jawbone like the tooth roots once did. Fortunately, we offer bone regeneration to repair bone that has disintegrated.
Bone Grafts to Replace Lost Bone
We often use bone grafts for bone regeneration procedures. We use bone grafts to alter the ridge to repair defects and strengthen teeth by giving them a scaffolding so they can support a dental implant.
We use bone that is entirely disinfected and will integrate well with your bone. We will also treat the bone to improve its ability to stimulate bone regeneration. The bone graft is meant to stimulate the growth of new bone, not to replace lost bone. When the new bone begins to grow it will replace the bone graft, which will decompose and eventually leave the body through the bloodstream.
When is it Necessary to Perform a Bone Graft?
There are a number of situations that call for a bone graft, including saving a tooth, preparing the area for dental implants, and preserving and augmenting ridges.
Preventing Tooth Loss
If there is a hole in the bone underneath a tooth or bone loss in the tooth roots, we will need to take action to regenerate the lost bone. These conditions are usually caused by periodontal disease.
We will disinfect the area and place a scaffolding of bone grafting material which supports the bone while it regenerates and bonds with the tooth. This procedure can completely reverse the damage a tooth has suffered and add years to its life.
Preparation for Dental Implants
If your jawbone has deteriorated to the point where it’s too thin to handle a dental implant, we’ll need to augment it with bone grafts. The bone will regenerate enough after a few months that we can place the implant posts.
In this procedure, your specialist at Integrated Dental will use an anesthetic on the affected area and make a small cut to lift up the gum. Next, he will remove any infection and insert the bone graft material. Sometimes he’ll place a membrane that contains the bone graft so the gum tissue won’t grow into the bone cavity.
We strive our best to save your natural teeth. But if that is not possible, then we seek to maintain your bone density and preserve your natural ridge contour.
We can put bone grafts in the empty socket and suture the area to prevent the bone underneath the lost tooth from shrinking. As time passes, the natural bone will absorb and replace the grafting material.
Aesthetic Ridge Augmentation
Patients with dental bridges eventually suffer bone loss in the jawbone underneath missing teeth, causing a gap underneath the bridge. We use aesthetic ridge augmentation procedures to augment bone for patients in this condition.
In such cases, bone grafts are used to rebuild the affected area and smooth out any unevenness. This procedure works just like the ridge augmentation procedure we perform prior to placing implants.
For more information, please contact our office at (631) 659-5599.