The jaw bone relies on regular stimulation created by chewing to continuously grow and remain healthy. When a tooth or multiple teeth are missing from the mouth and not replaced with the proper prosthesis, the jaw bone does not receive this stimulation and begins to resorb. This can cause a variety of problems in the mouth and make it extremely difficult to replace teeth with dental implants. A bone grafting procedure can be utilized to rebuild the resorbed jaw bone and make the placement of dental implants possible.
There are many different bone grafting procedures that can be performed, and the treatment that you receive will depend on your individual case and oral needs. Sometimes, a bone graft is placed to restore a single tooth site at the time that the tooth is removed to prepare it for a future dental implant. A bone graft can also be used to restore the jaw bone following the loss of multiple teeth which have caused significant jaw bone resorption over time.
Sinus Lift Procedure
Everyone has maxillary sinuses behind their cheeks and above their upper teeth. Because these sinuses are empty, the bone that separates the mouth from the sinus is typically very thin. It can also lose additional width if the upper back teeth are missing for a prolonged period of time. If this occurs, and only a few millimeters of bone are present, it becomes extremely difficult for oral surgeons to place dental implants in that area of the mouth.
A sinus lift is a special kind of bone grafting procedure to increase the height and width of the bone in the maxillary sinuses. During the sinus lift procedure, your oral surgeon carefully raises the sinus membrane from the bottom of the sinus cavity and packs the gap with a bone grafting material. After appropriate healing of the graft, dental implants can then be placed with more predictability and significantly increased success rates.
Where Does My Bone Graft Come From?
Bone graft material can be attained from a variety of sources. If it’s possible to use your own bone, it will likely be taken from another location inside the mouth around the third molar in the upper or lower jaw. In some cases, bone from another area like the chin, hip, or tibia may be used. If you are not a candidate to use your own bone for a bone graft, material can be obtained from a tissue bank, or a mineral bone substitute can be used to perform the procedure.
If you are missing multiple teeth or need to have a permanent tooth removed, bone grafting is your best option to preserve your jaw bone and prepare it for the future placement of dental implants. Please contact our office and schedule a personal consultation with Dr. Zachary Weber to determine your bone grafting treatment options.