Dentists often recommend dental implants as a stable, long-lasting tooth replacement solution. Because the post of an implant needs to fuse with the jawbone, it is vital that there is enough bone at the placement site. So what happens when you don’t have enough bone to support an implant? A bone graft procedure may be the answer.
What Causes Bone Loss?
Bone loss occurs when you lose teeth or suffer from periodontitis (gum disease). Your bone may naturally become thinner as you age as well. When a tooth is lost or extracted, the jawbone begins to deteriorate due to lack of stimulation that occurs when you chew. If you have periodontitis, bacteria may gradually eat away at the underlying jawbone and ligaments that connect your tooth to the bone. That’s why practicing a good oral hygiene routine and seeing your dentist for periodic checkups and cleanings is so important—regular dental care can help stop serious problems before they start.
Lost teeth and bone can cause your skin to sag and make you look older. Missing teeth may also make it difficult to eat, speak and smile. Luckily, many people with bone loss can still get implants and improve their oral health and appearance by undergoing a simple bone grafting procedure. Dentists also use bone grafting to save teeth that have been loosened due to periodontal disease.
What to Expect
A bone graft is a minor surgical procedure that can be performed by your dentist. It is common for dentists to put bone grafting material into a tooth socket immediately following an extraction. If your tooth is already missing, your dentist will numb the area, make a small incision in your gum to gain access to the bone, add the bone grafting material and close the incision with sutures.
This safe, sterile material may come from your own body or a human or animal donor. Some bone grafting material is made of synthetic biocompatible material. Over several months, the bone grafting material will help your body develop more bone. Once this process is complete, your implant can be placed.
After a bone grafting procedure you may experience some discomfort or soreness in the area, which can be easily managed with OTC pain relievers and an ice pack. Discomfort should only last for about two days. If pain persists or becomes severe, make sure to contact your Westmount dental clinic.
Visit Your Westmount Dental Clinic to Learn More about Bone Grafting
To learn more about the benefits of dental implants and bone grafting, talk with your preferred dentist in Westmount. They will be happy to address any questions or concerns you may have.