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Bone Grafting in Preparation for Dental Implants and Alternate Solutions
Bone loss in the United States is a lot more common than one would think. According to a report by the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention), up to 50% of Americans have some form of bone loss. Unfortunately, tooth loss is also associated with bone loss. You could lose a tooth due to periodontal disease for example, or a needed tooth extraction by your dentist.
In either case, when you go through the process of having your tooth extracted, you’ll need recovery solutions such as bone grafting or alternatives to bone grafting. While there are alternatives to grafting, it is important to note that grafting itself is widely used by 90% of dentists across America.
There are some that dispute this and say there are some alternatives that they deem better. However, as we will explain further in this chapter, “better” in this case depends on the patient’s circumstances. In this article, we’ll help you understand bone loss, bone grafting and its substitute. You’ll also learn if you fall under this scenario or if bone grafting in preparation for dental implants is the right treatment for you.
Why Bone Loss Occurs in the Jaw
There are multiple ways that bone loss could occur. As we list them, remember that once the bone loss begins and if it is not treated right away, severe periodontitis could set in. According to CDC stats, 8.5% of Americans have severe periodontitis.
- Tooth Loss or Extraction
- Periodontal Disease
- Misaligned Teeth
Tooth Loss or Extraction
As we noted above in this article, tooth extraction by your dentist will increase the rate of bone loss if grafting isn’t placed right after the extraction. Additionally, tooth loss from a decaying tooth for example will increase the level of deterioration if it is not taken care of properly by your local dentist.
Periodontal Disease or Perio for short, can create bacteria that infects and attacks the underlying jawbone. As well as ligaments, soft tissue and hard tissues associated with the jawbone area. This could cause the jawbone to deteriorate, and the tooth latched to it could be lost. This would further escalate the resorption level.
When you chew, this helps stimulate the mouth and the areas around the jawbone. The Alveolar bone often needs stimuli that it usually gets from the consistent chewing motion. When these stimuli aren’t present due to misaligned teeth, it can cause the area to be deprived of much needed stimuli.
Some dentures could cause added bone loss due to the consistent rubbing on the gum line. In the same manner dentist recommend not to rub your gums too hard with your toothbrush when brushing, dentures could rub hard enough to cause deterioration over time, though this would be the least case of them all.
Smoking Cannabis or Tobacco
We previously highlighted an article on this subject called “How Smoking Affects Oral Health.” In which we noted that there are multiple oral conditions that are directly linked to smoking such as:
- Tooth Decay
- Plaque & Tartar Buildup
- Bad Breath
- Gum Disease
Contrary to popular hippie belief, smoking cannabis is not a good home remedy to a toothache or any other oral related pain. Furthermore, after a tooth extraction and bone grafting, you should do your utmost best to stay away from smoking for at least 7 days post extraction. Smoking tobacco in excess can cause long term periodontal disease leading to bone loss.
How to Avoid Bone Loss
There are multiple methods your dentist can use to help you avoid bone loss. In most cases across the U.S., your dentist will recommend bone grafting to prepare the tooth for a dental implant. However, in many cases this can increase the cost by up to $400 per visit.
For most, this procedure will be an absolute necessity if you plant to follow a tooth extraction with a dental implant. We explain “What is Bone Grafting” in this article.
Dental Implants are a permanent solution to tooth loss, and it helps the jawbone maintain the bone structure it previously had before a tooth extraction. Your dentist will be able to determine if you are a good candidate for dental implants with a comprehensive consultation.
If you’ve suffered from severe periodontal disease to the point where excessive bone loss occurred. Your dentist may consider that there is to much bone loss and that you may not be a good candidate for dental implants.
Bone Grafting Alternatives
Full Arch Prosthesis
Full Arch Prosthesis are a suitable option for bone grafting if the underlying jawbone structure is sufficiently dense and healthy enough to support 4 to 6 different implants. In a full arch prosthesis, implants are inserted in a manner that allows them to work with each other. Since the prosthesis is one complete structure, the dental implants will be spread out from the left-side of the jawbone to the right, as evenly as possible.
Should there not be enough healthy jawbone to support a full arch prosthesis, a small portion of dental surgeon’s across the U.S. provide procedure known as “Zygomatic Implants”. Our dental practice at Functional Aesthetic Dentistry, does not provide this type of procedure. However, we will help you understand what it entails in case you are a candidate for Zygomatic Implants.
In general, zygomatic implants are suitable for a full arch prosthesis in the upper jaw if you are prone to low bone density. Periodontal disease can also reduce the amount of bone and gum, severe loss due to periodontal disease could make you a viable candidate. This type of prosthesis attaches to the upper jaw with 2 metal connections.
- The zygoma or cheekbone implant
- The dental implant itself
The zygoma implant attaches to the cheekbone and functions as the foundation for the dental implant to be attached. This allows for someone with poor bone health to have upper teeth permanently attached. It is an extensive procedure. However, for most that follow a healthy lifestyle after such procedure, will see the large benefits of being able to speak and eat in such a healthy manner.