When most people think about their oral health, they do not often consider their jawbone. The truth is that your oral health is integral for the health of your jawbone. When your oral health suffers, whether due to gum disease or tooth loss, your jawbone suffers and begins to deteriorate. When this happens, your healthy teeth, your bite, and the shape of your face are all affected. Bone loss can also impact the use of dental implants for tooth replacement. At Downey Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, we can help to restore strength to your jawbone with bone grafting.
Bone Grafting After Tooth Extractions
Tooth extractions are generally recommended as a last resort when damaged, decayed, or otherwise compromised teeth cannot be saved with treatments such as a crown or root canal. After your tooth is removed, there is an empty socket left behind. Left empty, the surrounding bone can begin to collapse in, causing the adjacent teeth to shift. If you are not immediately having the tooth replaced with a dental implant, a bone graft called a socket graft can be done. This is a bone graft that is done immediately after your extraction.
A small amount of grafting material is placed into the empty socket. This helps to preserve the space and prevent collapse. This way, you avoid the need for an additional procedure to restore missing bone mass later. Additionally, the graft is smaller because we are only filling the empty socket. An implant can be placed after you have healed.
Bone Grafting for Dental Implants
If you have lost a significant amount of bone mass after suffering tooth loss, your jaw may not be strong enough to support dental implants. Instead of getting stuck with dentures, a bone graft can help to restore the strength of your jaw so that you can get dental implants. The size of the graft will depend upon how much bone mass you have lost. If you have lost bone mass in your upper jaw, you may require what is called a sinus lift. This is done when bone mass is lost between the jaw and the sinus cavity. This procedure involves lifting the floor of the sinus cavity and filling the empty space with grafting material. This way, dental implants will not pierce into the sinus cavities, a problem that can lead to many complications.
Bone Grafting After Gum Disease
If you are dealing with advanced gum disease, the bacteria attacking your mouth are also attacking your jawbone. This weakens the bone and can cause the teeth to become unstable. In some cases, a bone graft can be performed to save your teeth from falling out or needing to be extracted. After thoroughly cleaning your mouth, including the bony defects where bacteria can hide, the bone grafting material is placed in the affected areas of your jaw.
Where Does the Bone Grafting Material Come From?
Bone grafting material can come from one of many sources. We may take the bone from somewhere else in your own body. While this procedure has the least risk associated with it, you will need more surgery to get the bone we need for your graft. Bone material can be taken from a tissue bank. In some cases, animal bone material may be recommended. We may also use a synthetic bone grafting material. During your consultation, we will take the time to go over your options to help find the best type of bone graft for you.
If you have any questions about bone grafting, call Downey Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at 562-459-3311 today to learn more.