There are many reasons why someone might lose a tooth, including injury, aging, breakage, decay and disease, with the worst of these being the last two. When teeth decay or fall victim to disease, not only is the tooth compromised, so may be the surrounding bone that supports that tooth. Luckily, we can perform bone grafting to help restore the look and functionality of your smile.
Your jawbone supports the teeth in your mouth, and when decay and disease cause you to lose bone, bad things can happen. Your teeth can loosen, or you could even lose a tooth for good. And without a tooth in place, the bone will continue to shrink, thus prohibiting a replacement tooth from being inserted at a later date.
Using X-ray technologies, we can discover whether the bone under the gumline has been compromised, and offer a solution of bone grafting to help.
Bone grafting is one of the newest techniques in the dental community and enables dentists to build a solid foundation into which to implant a permanent replacement tooth or teeth by fastening an implant into the jawbone. When there isn’t enough bone to support the tooth, an oral surgeon can perform a bone graft to add bone.
Types of Bone Grafting
There are several common types of bone grafting:
• Alveolar Ridge Preservation Graft, or “socket graft”
• Autogenous Ramus/Chin Graft, or “block bone graft”
• Sinus lift
A socket preservation bone graft generally takes place at the same time your tooth is removed, where the dentist or oral surgeon places bone grafting material directly into the tooth socket. The socket is plugged with a membrane, sewn up and allowed to heal.
The bone graft material is composed of either a synthetic or demineralized animal bone material and resembles something like kosher salt crystals. It provides a medium onto which natural bone can grow within the tooth’s socket. It also inhibits the shrinking of bone surrounding the area which the original tooth’s roots occupied.
Bone Block Graft
With a bone block graft, the oral surgeon often removes bone from the lower jaw area in the region where the wisdom teeth are located—the jaw branch. Bone can also be taken from the chin bone, or artificial or natural bone substitutes can be used. A small amount of bone block is removed from one of these areas and installed into the area where bone augmentation is required. It is affixed with tiny screws, covered with a membrane, and closed to heal and grow new bone for approximately four months. Once implanted, it will become part of the bone structure and able to support a tooth implant.
A sinus lift, or sinus augmentation, is designed to add bone to the upper jaw. It is also known as a sinus augmentation procedure. In it, bone is placed between the jaw and the maxillary sinuses, the cavities on either side of the nose. To make room for this additional bone, the sinus membrane is moved upward—thus the name “lift.” As with the socket graft, granules of the bone grafting material are placed into the space where the sinuses were. This bone will take place of the sinus.
Talk to Advanced Family Dentistry about Restorative Dentistry
Restorative dentistry is an ideal way to preserve your smile when you lose a tooth. Talk to us at Advanced Family Dentistry to review your personal options for repairing and maintaining your oral health.
Advanced Family Dentistry is located in Reston, VA. Contact us to schedule your dental appointment.
Dr. Sonny Kim is a Diplomat of the International Congress of Oral Implantologists (ICOI), the highest education level for general dentists in this field.
Advanced Family Dentistry
Dr. Sonny Kim, DMD
11876 Sunrise Valley Dr, Suite 101
Reston, VA 20191