If you have a missing tooth that wasn't fixed immediately, it is possible that the jawbone will visibly change from not getting the stimulation it needs from a real tooth. The gums will actually start to sink in and shrink in the area where the tooth once was. This can make replacing the tooth with an implant later one very difficult. Your dentist may tell you that you need a bone graft to move forward with the implant procedure, making you wonder what is involved with getting a bond graft.
Fixing Bone Deterioration
A tooth needs a healthy amount of jawbone for the root to take hold in the bone. If there is bone loss due to a missing tooth, there is essentially not a solid place for the implant to be placed. A bone graft is designed to fix the deterioration of the jawbone that occurred and allow you to get a dental implant.
Using Bone Blocks
For patients that are missing a lot of bone material where the implant needs to go, a dentist can create an artificial bone that matches the existing shape of the jawbone. Screws made out of titanium are used to hold the blocks in place while it heals. After several months, the screws are removed and the bone is ready to accept a dental implant.
Using Bone Substitute Mix
If you can't use a bone block to give the jawbone more strength, a bone substitute mix can be placed in the area where the jawbone is missing. A special membrane is used to cover the area with the bone graft, and it helps the area solidify so that a dental implant can be inserted.
Using Socket Grafting
Socket grafting can only be done right after the tooth is immediately removed. It works by placing special bone grafting material into the socket where the tooth once was. The material will take several months to solidify, which will then allow a dental implant to be placed in the area where the old tooth once was. This procedure is ideal for dental patients that are dealing with a small amount of bone deterioration at the time of the tooth being removed.
All of these procedures are safe to use when getting a dental implant. To find out which procedure will work for you, meet with a dentist for a consultation. Their advice will help give you the best chance of having a successful bone graft.
For more information, contact places like Centre Family Dentistry.