Bone Grafting and Ridge Preservation in West Seneca, NY
Experienced West Seneca Dentist Providing Affordable Bone Grafting and Ridge Preservation Services
After a tooth is removed, the bony tissue below begins to decrease in thickness and then recede.
The cause for this is purely biological; with no tooth to anchor, the bone does not need to remain as thick, just as muscles begin to atrophy when they are not exercised regularly. Though bone loss in the maxilla (upper jaw) or the mandible (lower jaw) does not typically have any adverse health effects, it can make the implantation of a dental implant difficult.
Once a tooth is removed from the mouth, the gum and bone require some time to heal before a dental implant can be installed in the empty space. This is not typically a cause for concern when an individual seeks to have a dental bridge placed in the tooth’s original space, but those who require implants to serve as either teeth in their own right or as the anchors for dentures, a lack of jawbone thickness can make implantation difficult or impossible. Even if the implant can be placed, it may be unstable in its socket, potentially leading to infection of the gums and bone.
To prevent as much bone loss as possible, a dentist may insert a filling into the space left after a tooth extraction. If that is not an option and significant bone loss does occur, a bone graft may be recommended. Just as hair can be transplanted from the rear of the scalp to temporarily reduce the appearance of a receding hairline, a piece of bone can be extracted from elsewhere in the body and implanted in the jaw where recession has occurred. This procedure is known as ridge augmentation, and it is essential for preserving the integrity of the alveolar socket (the space remaining after a tooth has been removed) for future use and modification. A bone graft from a patient’s own body is often taken from another area of the jaw, such as the usually toothless area to the rear of the molars. The graft will not be installed in the empty space as is, but it will rather be trimmed down to the correct size or even ground up and mixed with demineralized bone from another source. The dentist will then place the graft in the empty socket and cover it with a membrane to keep the graft in position. Over the course of the following few months, the jawbone will regrow and solidify with the graft, preserving the socket for the eventual dental implant that will fill in the gap. The graft is instrumental in forming a surface sturdy enough for dental implantation to have a higher chance of success.