Bone loss in the jaw often occurs after a tooth is lost or extracted. As time passes, the body begins to break down the bone that once supported the root of the missing tooth. This weakens the jaw, creates a prematurely aged appearance, and can prevent you from getting dental implant surgery. Periodontists are experts when it comes to rebuilding the jaw to allow for the successful placement of dental implants. Here are three procedures we commonly perform to ensure that patients have the necessary foundation to support implants.
Bone grafting is the most common procedure we use to reverse bone loss in the jaw. It’s often performed prior to dental implant surgery in order to create sufficient jawbone support for an implant and the restoration that attaches to it, but bone grafting may also be needed due to congenital birth defects, trauma, or after the removal of a tumor.
Minor bone grafting can be performed on the upper or lower jaw. Dr. Cooper may use grafting material taken from your own body or from another source, including synthetic material. The grafting material is placed into the weakened areas of the jaw, where it generates bone growth. It can take four to six months for the jawbone to be restored.
If major bone grafting is needed, as may be the case for congenital defects, your procedure will be performed in a hospital setting. Grafting material may need to be taken from the skull or hip for more extensive procedures.
Bone regeneration is used to regrow lost bone around existing teeth or in areas where teeth have been extracted. The goal of this procedure is to preserve your remaining teeth and the tissues that hold them in place and protect them from bacteria and plaque.
Pockets form where bone is lost or where teeth are extracted and these pockets have the potential to collect bacteria and damage bone and tooth structures. During bone regeneration, we fold back the gingival tissue to remove the bacteria, then place membranes, bone grafts, or tissue-stimulating proteins to encourage your body’s healing and regeneration process.
Even when only a single tooth is extracted, it can cause a weak spot in the jawbone. Ridge preservation is a procedure that involves placing bone grafting material directly into the empty tooth socket. This encourages your body’s natural capacity to regenerate bone and rebuild the jaw, creating a stronger bite. These weak spots in the jaw can also compromise your oral health, as your remaining teeth may start to shift or even loosen over time. Ridge preservation can prevent this from occurring, especially when used in conjunction with a bridge or dental implant to replace your missing tooth.
Learn More About How a Periodontist Can Treat Bone Loss
Have you experienced bone loss after losing a tooth or suffering from gum disease? Contact us today at 516-210-5129 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Cooper to find out if bone grafting, bone regeneration, or ridge preservation is right for you.