The many benefits of dental implants are made possible thanks to the treatment’s unique setup. Unlike dental bridges and removable dentures, implants integrate with the underlying oral anatomy to provide strong support for one or more permanent replacement teeth. Also unlike other tooth loss treatments, dental implants replace the entirety of the missing tooth, including the root (learn more about dental implants). These features rely on the health of the jawbone, which was must be strong enough to properly osseointegrate with the implant fixture. In cases where the jaw has suffered from bone loss, the patient may need to undergo a bone graft procedure.
When is a Bone Graft Necessary?
Teeth are a crucial component of the organic bone regeneration process that keeps the jawbone strong and sturdy. When we exercise the jaw, by speaking, eating, drink, et cetera, the energy of the workout is transmitted to the underlying bone through our teeth. When a tooth is lost, however, this connection is no longer there and the jawbone won’t receive the proper exercise it needs. Over time, the bone tissue will deteriorate and the jaw will lose its shape. Physically, this often reveals itself as a “sunken” facial appearance and wrinkling around the jawline.
Because dental implants are anchored into the jawbone, the jaw needs sufficient strength to properly integrate with the implant fixtures (which is the root portion of the implant). During your consultation, the first stage of the dental implant process, Drs. Kline and Davis will measure and analyze the density and volume of your jawbone. In order to be directly eligible for the treatment, there must be an area with the proper density to hold the implant fixture(s) in place. Modern procedural innovations have made it easier to fit implants even in weakened jaws, but sometimes a supplemental procedure may be necessary if the jaw has suffered from bone loss.
What is a Bone Graft?
If you have suffered from bone loss, Drs. Kline and Davis may recommend a bone graft. This procedure consists of adding new bone tissue to the jaw to catalyze the natural process of bone regeneration. Where does this new bone tissue come from? Ideally, we take the necessary bone tissue from other parts of your body, such as the chin. If this is not possible, we take the tissue from a bone bank. Finally, if neither option is plausible, we may use synthetic tissue, made from hydroxyapatite or a similar biocompatible material.
During the procedure, the new tissue will be grafted to the area of the jaw that needs strengthening. Once this is accomplished, you will be readied for a recovery period, during which your jaw will organically replace the grafted tissue with newly generated bone tissue, until the jaw’s proper density and volume have been restored. After you have healed from the bone graft, we can move forward with the dental implant treatment.
To minimize any pain or discomfort, Drs. Kline or Davis may administer a general anesthetic. If you suffer from dental phobia or anxiety, you may also be interested in our sedation dentistry services, which allow you to enjoy the worry-free dental care you deserve.
Learn More About Our Sugar Land Bone Grafting Services
Tooth loss can result in bone loss and, in some cases, a bone graft may be necessary to repair the affected areas of the jawbone. To learn more about bone grafting and whether a bone graft is needed in your case, contact us to schedule your free one-on-one consultation at our Sugar Land, TX, dental practice: 832-500-3935.