Your teeth are an essential feature of your mouth, responsible for many critical tasks every day. They enable you to bite, chew, and even speak properly. They provide you with a confident smile that can leave a great first impression. Your teeth also play an important role in the health of your jawbone. When you lose your teeth, every one of their functions is affected. Dental implants have become the most popular choice for tooth replacement. However, to ensure implant success, there needs to be sufficient bone mass remaining in the jaw. Without enough bone mass, the implants are likely to fail. At Plymouth Ann Arbor Oral & Facial Surgery, we can restore missing bone mass, making implants possible with an allograft.
Bone Loss After Tooth Loss
While there are many visible effects of tooth loss, there are also ones that cannot be seen. The roots of your teeth sit securely within the jawbone. Every time you chew, the teeth stimulate the bone. This sends a message to your body, which responds by sending the nutrients essential for the health of the jaw. When you lose teeth, this stimulation is lost. The message is weaker. As a result, your body sends fewer nutrients. Over time, the once strong jawbone begins to grow weak. The more teeth you lose, the weaker the jaw becomes.
Bone Grafting and Dental Implants
Dental implants are a unique treatment, providing numerous benefits. One of the biggest benefits of implants is that they can stop the bone loss that follows tooth loss. However, if too much bone mass is lost before seeking treatment, the jaw may not be strong enough to successfully support implants.
Bone grafting is a surgical procedure designed to restore missing bone mass. There are a few different types of bone grafts, but they all work to achieve the same goal. Surgery starts with a local anesthetic and sedation. Incisions are then made in the gums, and the bone graft material is packed into the areas of weakness. Finally, the gums are sutured closed. Recovery can take several months, but once you have fully healed, you can begin the process of receiving dental implants.
What Is an Allograft?
An allograft is a type of bone graft. This particular type of bone graft is defined as one that utilizes bone from a cadaver. Before use, the harvested bone mass undergoes several treatment sequences that help to neutralize any immune reactions and disease transmission. These sequences involve such things as irradiation, freeze-drying, and acid washing. With this process, the risks of infection and rejection are significantly reduced.
The Benefits of an Allograft
There are several advantages to using an allograft to replace missing bone mass in your jaw. One of the biggest advantages is that you only require one surgical site. An autogenous bone graft is often considered the gold standard for grafting, as it uses your bone mass from elsewhere in your body. This type of grafting requires two different surgical sites, your jaw, and the harvesting site. An allograft, on the other hand, only requires a single surgical site. This can often result in a quicker procedure and faster healing.
Bone loss does not automatically mean that you are ineligible for dental implants. An allograft can restore the strength and integrity of the jawbone, can make implants a reality. Call Plymouth Ann Arbor Oral and Facial Surgery at (734) 455-0710 for more information and to schedule your consultation today.