Bone grafting procedures have significantly increased many people’s candidacy for dental implants. In the past, patients whose jawbones were atrophied or deteriorated were not good candidates for dental implant placement. This is because bone mass is vital to the strength and stability of an implant. Now, however, a bone graft can correct the effects of bone loss in the jaw while ultimately providing a stable base for dental implants. For those receiving both a bone graft and dental implant placement, the time between procedures varies from person to person. This is because people respond to treatment differently and depending on factors such as certain diseases and genetic history, the rate at which the body heals is different for everyone. Following is some helpful information about the benefits of bone grafting and dental implants.
Why does the jawbone deteriorate?
When teeth fail or fall out, the jawbone will naturally become less dense because without the roots of teeth anchored in the jaw and their continuous function, the body begins to naturally reabsorb tissue. Bone atrophy is very common among patients with tooth loss – especially those who have postponed treatment for tooth replacement. A bone graft essentially involves taking bone from another part of a patient’s body or bone from a tissue bank and placing it over the areas of the jaw where bone tissue is less dense.
Why is bone mass so important to the success of dental implants?
A dental implant is a titanium post that is shaped like a cylinder. Resembling a screw, the post is surgically implanted into the jawbone where the bone will eventually fuse around the implant over time. Bone fusing to titanium is a process that mimics the biological process of the jawbone anchoring the roots of teeth. This process is what makes implants so durable and long lasting. If a patient does not have adequate bone mass, there will not be enough bone to support the implant. Unsupported, an implant cannot serve as an anchor to prosthetics like dental crowns.
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