Missing teeth should be replaced and the best option for replacing missing teeth is through the use of dental implants and restorative crowns, bridges or dentures. Dental implants provide the foundation for the most natural, stable and comfortable replacement solution.
When a patient loses a tooth, we recommend that it be replaced as soon as possible. By doing so, the risk of losing critical bone is minimized. For an implant to be successful, adequate bone is required.
When a tooth is missing, the constant biting force is no longer occurring which is crucial to keeping the jawbone healthy. Without this force, a patient’s jawbone will deteriorate and become too thin and soft to support a dental implant. In this case, a bone graft will be necessary.
A bone graft requires a surgical procedure to fill a void where bone is absent. In addition, a bone graft will encourage and facilitate bone regeneration. Some bone grafts are bigger than others. The longer that teeth have been missing, the more bone loss will occur. With advanced bone loss, grafting will be more extensive and involved.
The surgeons at Northwest Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery are trained and experienced in bone grafting procedures. The materials that the surgeons place have been carefully chosen and patients are given the option of an autograft, an allograft or a xenograft:
Autograft: The use of a patient’s own bone to rebuild and prepare the jawbone for an implant. It typically involves taking bone from the patients jaw or chin and placing it where needed.
Allograft: Graft from human bone, typically from a cadaver. At Northwest Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, we only obtain allograft materials from reputable tissue banks. The cadaveric bone has been treated and purified multiple times and is neutral to immune reactions. In addition, donors are screened for known diseases and are certified safe for use by the American Association of Tissue Banks.
Xenograft: Graft from animal bone, typically a bovine. Xenograft materials have been physically and chemically treated to be comparable to human bone graft material.
If you are considering a dental implant and require bone grafting, we encourage our friends, family and patients to use a qualified dental specialist, such as an oral surgeon, to coordinate a safe surgical procedure and beautiful restoration. Please contact us today if you have questions or would like to schedule an appointment with one of our board-certified oral and maxillofacial surgeons.