Treating Bone Loss in the Jaw for Dental Implants

February 15, 2024
1247 Views

When an individual loses a tooth, their jawbone stops receiving the stimulation it did due to activities like chewing. The body considers it useless. Therefore, it starts to shrink or resorb. This condition is known as bone loss in the jaw.

No patient can undergo a dental implant immediately after tooth loss. So, if exceeded, the waiting time in the middle can cause bone resorption. Fortunately, modern dentistry has a solution called bone graft.

Way to Fix Missing Dental Bone in the Jaw

Your surgeon can suggest a bone graft to compensate for the bone resorption in the jaw. This bone graft material is inserted in your jaw to merge with your existing bone and supports dental implants. This bone graft material can be received from:

  • Your own body (autogenous)
  • Human tissue bank (allograft)
  • Animal tissue bank (xenograft)
  • Synthetic material (alloplast)

Kinds of Bone Grafts

There are 4 major kinds of bone grafts.

  • Socket Preservation

    As the name suggests, this bone graft type is performed right after a tooth extraction. It compensates for the gap made due to a missing tooth to stop the nearby tooth from shifting.

  • Ridge Augmentation

    If you wait a while before dental implants, your jawbone can appear thin. Ridge augmentation enhances the dimension of the dental bone. Doing so makes it sturdy enough to support dental implants.

  • Sinus Lift

    Your maxillary sinus is located right on top of your upper back teeth. When you lose them, the sinuses can come down and occupy the space left by dental roots. This makes dental implant placement impossible, as they can pierce through your sinuses. It triggers a need for sinus lift before bone graft to hold dental implants in place.

  • Periodontal Bone Graft

    If you have periodontal disease, it can compromise the whole structure of your dental bone. In return, your teeth can come loose and fall. That’s why a periodontal bone graft is performed around your current tooth to eliminate mobility.

Maximum Time Between Bone Graft and Dental Implant

The timing between a bone graft and a dental implant depends on multiple factors. Such as the kind of bone graft performed, the location in the mouth, and the patient’s healing process. Generally, allowing an adequate amount of time for the bone graft to merge with your existing bone is crucial. This is necessary to form sufficient bone volume before placing the dental implant.

In certain cases, the waiting time between a bone graft and dental implant placement can range from three to six months or even longer. This timeframe accommodates proper healing and osseointegration, which is the process where the bone is infused with the graft material, becoming sturdy and stable enough to support the dental implant.

Key Takeaway

There are various reasons for bone loss in the jaw; for example, smoking can reduce bone density in many body parts, including the jaw. Therefore, preventive steps, correct nutrition, and filling your diet with vitamins and minerals can help you with your bone density.

If you have fallen victim to bone loss, contact our seasoned periodontist, Dr. Michael K. Mcguire, at Perio Health Professionals. Our doctor serves on the International Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Implants editorial boards. Call us at (713) 783-5442 to book an appointment.

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