Bone loss in the jaw is one of the more serious consequences of missing teeth. Chewing stimulates bone growth and repair, so when a tooth is missing, a patient starts to lose bone mass within the first year. This can cause a decrease in gum tissue as well as significant changes in facial structure.
If you have missing teeth and are thinking about dental implants, come in to our office so Dr. Osundeko can give you an exam and consultation. If you have experienced bone loss and are ready for bone grafting, here are a few things to know about the process:
- Bone grafts are often a section of bone taken from another area of the patient’s body. They can also be made from synthetic materials. All materials are thoroughly cleaned and are safe for grafting.
- The graft behaves as a guide, allowing nearby bone to grow over it and eventually replace the grafting material. Depending on the bone loss the patient has experienced, it might take several weeks, or perhaps months, for the bone to regrow enough to be ready for a dental implant.
- The method of bone grafting will depend on how long any teeth have been missing and whether the procedure is performed on the top or bottom jaw.
- Encouraging new growth will also open up more options as far as getting dental implants or other major dental work, since a minimum amount of bone mass is required to replace teeth.
Losing bone mass can hurt the health of your mouth and might make you look older than you are. But bone grafting can reverse the damage, benefiting both your oral health and your physical appearance. If you have any missing teeth or are concerned about the integrity of the bones in your mouth, call us today to set up a consultation.