When you are missing a tooth, your body begins to reabsorb the jawbone, just like osteoporosis. This process decreases the quality and quantity of your jawbone, making chewing difficult, and giving your face a prematurely aged appearance.
Patients who have experienced jawbone deterioration may not be candidates for restoring their smile with dental implants. But fortunately with the advent of new regenerative grafting products they can become candidates through bone graft surgery.
With a bone graft, we can replace bone that is missing while promoting new bone growth in that location. A dental bone graft may be the best way for you to regain the functionality and esthetic of your smile.
Reasons You May Need Bone Graft Surgery
When the jawbone deteriorates, the only way to repair it may be through a bone graft. Possible reasons for jawbone loss and deterioration include:
Tooth extraction | Even if the teeth are replaced with a dental bridge or denture, the jawbone does not receive the stimulation it requires to remain whole and healthy.
Periodontal disease | An ongoing gum infection gradually destroys the support of the natural teeth.
Physical trauma | When a tooth is knocked out or broken, the underlying bone has most likely fractured. This usually goes undiagnosed and untreated leading to a loss of that bone. Additionally with the absence of the tooth, the stimulation of the bone ceases, resulting in bone loss.
Misalignment | Misalignment issues can cause the opposing teeth to over-erupt, in a process that we refer to as “super-eruption”. This can also result in deterioration of the underlying bone. TMJ problems and normal wear and tear can also interfere with the tooth’s function and the bone’s stimulation.
Osteomyelitis | This bacterial infection of the jaw bone that can leads to inflammation and a reduction in the blood supply to the bone. A bone graft procedure may be required to restore bone function and growth. This is especially seen in patient that have a poor immune system or are taking medications for osteoporosis that are referred to “bisphosphonates”. Bisphosphonates interfere with the natural process of bone physiology which make these patients more susceptible to these types of bony infections.
Tumors | Even benign facial tumors/cysts may grow large and require the removal of a portion of the jaw in order to remove the entire tumor/cyst. Patients who have experienced jaw bone removal can regain their healthy bone with bone grafting.
Developmental deformities | There are several conditions that are characterized by missing portions of teeth, facial bones, or skull. Dr. Massoomi can use a bone graft surgery in some of these instances to restore bone function.
Types of Bone Graft Surgery
There are many different ways to complete a bone graft. Dr. Massoomi will help you decide which type of dental bone graft is right for you.
Autogenous | Autografts are made from your own bone, taken from somewhere else in the body.
Allogenic | Allogenic bone graft surgery involves harvesting bone from a cadaver.
Xenogenic | Xenogenic bone is derived from a non-living bone of another species, usually a cow.
Each type of dental bone graft has its risks and advantages. Whichever type of bone graft that you and Dr. Massoomi choose, the procedure will rebuild your healthy jaw and allow you to become a candidate for a complete smile again. To learn more, contact us at San Francisco Surgical Arts today. We look forward to hearing from you!