Bone loss is a significant problem for many patients who have lost teeth in the past. Many adults lose teeth and ignore the problem, chewing food on a different side or in some modified way to avoid going to the dentist. Over time, the jaw bone deteriorates from the lack of stimulation provided by the missing tooth or teeth. The skilled team at Downriver Smiles in Spokane offers professional bone grafting to reverse this degenerative process.
Many people may not realize that losing teeth affects your facial appearance over time, even with your mouth closed to hide missing teeth. As the jaw bone deteriorates, it provides less support for your facial muscles and tissues. They begin to droop, creating a hollow, older appearance. Your neighboring teeth can also shift out of place, and into the gap of the missing tooth and become weak. When a person who is missing several teeth decides to replace them with dental implants, they are usually surprised to discover they do not have sufficient bone structure to support the implants, and some of their existing teeth are also in danger of being lost.
Although dental implants are a relatively new and innovative means for replacing missing teeth, earlier patients were not eligible for implants if they had lost too much jaw bone structure. Therefore, many people with missing teeth had to choose from other replacement options. Downriver Smiles offers advanced methods of bone grafting to provide sufficient bone structure for supporting dental implants.
What is Bone Grafting?
Bone grafting is a straightforward, yet advanced, procedure where our restorative dentist, Dr. Cory Gaunt, obtains donor bone from elsewhere on your body and implants it onto your jawbone. This procedure is painless – Dr. Gaunt ensures you are well sedated with a local anesthetic before performing any operations.
Bone grafting is an oral surgical procedure, albeit a minor one. An incision is required so Dr. Gaunt can access the jawbone and implant the donor bone in the proper location. Then the incision is closed and you are sent home to heal. A period of a few months is required for the donor bone to graft successfully into your jawbone, a process called osseointegration.
Dr. Gaunt will provide you with care instructions to follow while your jaw bone heals and the bones grow together. He can also provide information about dental implants and the many options available after your jaw bone develops sufficient density and support.
Contact Downriver Smiles in Spokane today if you were previously told you were not a candidate for dental implants. We can perform a bone graft to improve your jaw bone density and facial structure.