Did you know that about 120 million American adults are missing at least one tooth? It’s true — and millions more are at risk for tooth loss due to periodontal disease and other common oral health issues.
Missing teeth can be embarrassing, but they’re more than a cosmetic concern. Your jawbone needs stimulation from teeth to grow and maintain its strength. If you’re missing a tooth, bone in that area deteriorates and puts nearby teeth and the rest of your mouth at risk.
Tooth loss and extractions are common, but that doesn’t mean your oral health has to suffer. Miguel A. Casañas Jr., DDS, Publio Silfa, DDS, and our team at Meadowbrook Dental Care specialize in oral and maxillofacial procedures designed to restore jaws, gums, and teeth.
If you’re missing a tooth or you need one extracted, bone grafting and dental implants are a great option to replace that missing tooth. It’s time to learn more about your treatment options.
The benefits of bone grafting
Your jaw holds your teeth in place, and your teeth give your jaw something to grow around. They work together to help you talk and chew, and a missing tooth creates a gap that impacts your mouth function.
A missing tooth leaves a space in your jawbone. Without a tooth there to grow around, that part of your jaw begins to disappear as well. Bone loss can spread over time and loosen nearby teeth. Eventually, facial features may sag, and your overall oral health suffers.
Bone grafting is a surgical procedure to prevent or treat bone loss. It can be done when you have a tooth extracted to prevent bone loss from developing in the first place, but it’s also an option if you’ve already suffered bone loss.
In a bone grafting procedure, our dentists take a small sample of bone from elsewhere in your body and place it into the gap left by a missing tooth. The new bone stimulates healthy bone growth in your jaw.
Bone grafts strengthen your jaw, so you can maintain the health of your remaining teeth. Grafting is an essential step of many restorative dental procedures, including dental implants, because it gives the restoration a strong foundation that lasts for many years.
How bone grafting works
Dr. Casañas and Dr. Silfa often recommend bone grafting following tooth extraction and as part of dental implant placement. Our team performs comprehensive evaluations that may include X-rays to determine if you’re a good candidate for bone grafting.
On the day of your procedure, we take a sample of bone from your hip, tibia, jaw, or another location in your body. We prepare it and place it in the affected area of your jaw. We may use stitches to close your gums, depending on the size of the area.
Sometimes, artificial grafting material is used in bone grafting procedures. Artificial material works by attracting bone cells to the area to increase natural bone growth, and it can be a good option if bone can’t be sourced from another area of your body.
If you’re getting a dental implant on your upper jaw, you might need a sinus lift. A sinus lift happens before the bone graft to make room for the donor bone in your jaw by lifting soft tissue around your sinuses.
Bone grafting increases bone volume and density in your jaw. As your jaw heals, more bone naturally grows where the graft was done. The procedure preserves your jaw health, and it can improve overall oral health and mouth function for years to come.
Find comprehensive restorative dentistry at Meadowbrook Dental Care. To find out if you could benefit from bone grafting or dental implants, call our office at 516-231-1742 or request an appointment online now.