When it comes to our oral health, we often focus exclusively on our teeth and gums. However, your jawbone also plays a crucial role. After all, without a healthy jaw, you won’t have a strong foundation for your natural teeth or dental restorations.
Fortunately, a dental bone graft can help rebuild your jaw anywhere you’ve experienced bone loss. But who needs this procedure and why?
At Beaumont Cherry Valley Dental, your smile is first priority to Daniel Park, DDS. Whether you need preventive care or esthetic dentistry solutions, the first step to improving your oral health could involve a bone graft. Here are a few reasons why.
What is a bone graft?
Dr. Park performs dental bone grafts to restore volume and density to areas of your jaw with bone loss. In most cases, he uses bone taken from your own body, like another part of your jaw or hip. However, cadaver, animal, or synthetic grafts could also be used.
When placed in areas of your mouth with bone loss, graft material helps regenerate lost bone tissue. It also acts as a support structure — similar to scaffolding — to hold new tissue in place as it returns to the area.
Reasons to get a bone graft
Here are some of the most common reasons dentists recommend getting a bone graft:
Gum disease is a widespread problem in the United States. In fact, studies show that approximately 42% of adults aged 30 and older live with this problem. Sadly, those numbers only increase with age, and 70% of people aged 65 and older have gum disease.
Unfortunately, gum disease involves bacteria infecting the tissue around the tooth. Without treatment, this problem can cause numerous complications, including lost teeth, gum tissue recession, and bone loss.
If you have bone loss due to gum disease, Dr. Park can perform a bone graft to help regenerate lost tissue.
You could also need a bone graft before getting dental restorations — such as implants or dentures — to replace missing teeth.
When you get a dental implant, Dr. Park surgically places a titanium screw in your jaw that supports an artificial tooth — or crown — on top. Over time, the post fuses to your jawbone, functioning like a synthetic tooth root.
For this restoration to succeed, you need plenty of healthy jawbone at the implant site. Otherwise, you won’t have a strong enough foundation to support the screw. A bone graft can restore lost volume in the area to create a strong foundation for implantation.
Estimates show that more than half of implant procedures require a bone graft first to prepare the site.
You can lose jawbone volume for numerous reasons. While it’s often associated with poor oral hygiene or gum disease, other causes can include health problems — such as major infections — and jaw injuries or tooth extractions. Bone loss is also more common in older adults.
When you lose bone mass in the jaw, it can lead to facial changes, such as:
- The face looking shorter than usual
- The lower jaw seeming to protrude forward
- More wrinkled skin in the affected area
It’s also common for lips and their surrounding muscles to give a sunken appearance if there isn’t enough healthy bone structure to support them.
Dr. Park can correct these issues and reduce your chances of suffering additional bone loss by performing a bone graft procedure. Similarly, Dr. Park could also recommend a bone graft to reduce your chances of suffering bone loss after having a tooth extracted.
To learn more about dental bone grafts, book an appointment over the phone with Beaumont Cherry Valley Dental today.