We do a lot of dental implants in our practice for patients who have lost teeth. Dental implants are an excellent tooth replacement option when you are missing a single tooth or an entire row of teeth.
Unfortunately, dental implant placement can be complicated if you have lost too much bone density or bone mass in your mouth.
When this happens, we can replace the missing bone with a procedure called bone grafting. It’s something we can do at our dentist office in Buffalo Grove, IL.
At North Shore Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, we try to keep the big picture in mind whenever a patient comes to visit us. To make that big picture come together, we have to pay attention to the details.
Those details may include a bone graft to help you or someone you love regain the full use of your mouth.
Bones And Teeth
Your upper and lower jaw are comprised of two bones, the maxilla (upper jaw) and the mandible (lower jaw or jawbone). The roots of your teeth are anchored into these bones.
Through this connection, your teeth and those bones have a mutually beneficial relationship.
Healthy bones hold your teeth securely in place. This is what allows you to bite and chew your food.
Note that we said healthy bones. Throughout our lives, our bones breakdown and regrow new cells in order to maintain their shape and strength.
Our teeth play a vital role in this process. The roots of your teeth press into your bone when you bite and chew. This pressure stimulates the bone and encourages the new growth that is needed to keep it healthy.
If your teeth are removed or fall out, the bones of your jaw will no longer receive this stimulation. As a result, you will begin losing bone mass and density.
Over time, this can affect your appearance. This is why some people who have lost teeth have a sunken appearance in their faces.
Bones And Dental Implants
Dental implants are one of the best developments in modern dentistry. They replace the roots of your missing teeth, and they can be used to support dental crowns, dental bridges, and dentures.
Today’s implants are titanium cylinders, and our bodies react to these cylinders almost the same as they do to the roots of our natural teeth. The implants press into the bones of our jaws, and the bones respond with new growth to secure the implants in our mouths.
Before we can place a dental implant, you must have enough bone mass to support it. If not, then the implant placement will be ineffective.
How Bone Grafts Can Help
Let’s assume that you lost your teeth years ago, and you either didn’t replace them or you have traditional dentures. More than likely, you have lost some bone mass already.
If you decide that you would like to get implant-supported dentures, one of the first things we will check is your bone density. Some practices may discourage you from moving forward if your bone density is too low.
At North Shore Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, we will explain how a bone graft can help you rebuild the bone to the point where it can support dental implants.
The bone graft is done by removing healthy bone from one area and placing it in the part of your mouth where it is needed. Now, you should be aware that you will need time to heal after this procedure.
In that time, the existing bone and the transplanted bone will fuse together. This will make the bone thicker and strong enough to support your dental implants.
When you are ready, we can proceed with the implant placement, and you will be that much closer to have more of your bite force back.
Minimizing Bone Loss
If you lose a tooth or teeth, but can’t replace them immediately, you can take steps to minimize the bone loss you will experience.
When a tooth is removed from your mouth, you have a gap in your smile and a hole in your bone. By grafting bone in this hole, called a socket, you can preserve more of your bone. This will increase the likelihood that you will have enough bone to support a dental implant when you are able to get it.
Don’t Lose Hope
If another dentist has told you that you simply can’t support dental implants, please visit our office in Buffalo Grove, IL. We will be happy to discuss the benefits of bone grafts and how they could make it possible for you to receive the implants you want.