For patients with missing teeth, it is very important to seek replacement options as soon as possible. If left untreated, missing teeth can very quickly lead to even more serious issues, such as severe bite imbalances, unwanted tooth shifts and more. Dental implants are often used as a part of this replacement process, but when the jawbone is too weak or too thin to support dental implants, it may be necessary to conduct a bone grafting procedure.
A bone grafting procedure involves supplementing the existing jawbone with additional bone material. This is done to add to the overall strength of the jawbone, allowing it to properly support dental implants. After the procedure has been completed, the graft will encourage new bone growth, further strengthening the bone.
A few decades ago, bone grafting procedures almost always involved harvesting a bone from a different part of the body. Thanks to advances in dental technology, this troublesome step is typically skipped by using an artificial bone-like substance. Bone grafts vary in intensity, and it is sometimes possible to install dental implants immediately following the bone grafting procedure; however, some cases are more severe requiring the patient to wait as long as several months for the jawbone to strengthen.
The need for a bone grafting procedure can be prevented by ensuring that the jawbone remains strong and healthy. In the event that tooth loss does occur, it is critical that the lost teeth are replaced as quickly as possible. When the jawbone sits without active teeth, atrophy occurs, causing the jawbone to become weaker over time. This means that the longer a person waits to replace missing teeth, the more likely it is that they will require a bone grafting procedure.
If you require a bone grafting procedure to install dental implants and you want to learn more about the treatment options that are available to you, please contact our office to set up a consultation. You may call us at (509) 326-8039 to schedule an appointment.