The human body is always changing, and when one or more teeth are missing the jawbone will start to deteriorate. This loss of jawbone can develop create additional concerns, both with your facial appearance and general health. You may experience pain, difficulty with your remaining teeth, altered appearance, and eventually even changes in your ability to speak and eat normally.
In the same way that muscles are maintained through exercise, bone tissue is maintained by regular use. Natural teeth help to stimulate the jawbone through activities such as chewing and biting. Once teeth are lost the, the portion of the jawbone that anchors the teeth in the mouth no longer receives the necessary stimulation, and begins to break down. The body no longer uses or “needs” the jawbone, so it deteriorates and atrophies away. Adequate jawbone is a necessary component for successful dental implant placement.
Potential Consequences of Tooth and Jawbone Loss
- Problems with remaining teeth, including misalignment, drifting, loosening, and loss
- Collapsed facial profile
- Inadequate lip support
- Wrinkles in the skin around the mouth
- Distortion of other facial features
- Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) pain, facial pain, and headaches
- Difficulty speaking and communicating
- Inability to chew properly and without pain leading to inadequate nutrition
- Sinus expansion
With bone grafting, Dr. Scholes will have the opportunity to replace bone where it is missing and the ability to promote new bone growth. This not only gives us the opportunity to place dental implants of the proper length and width, but it also allows us to restore functionality and esthetic appearance.
Different types of bone grafting materials:
Allogenic bone, or allograft is bone harvested from a cadaver, then processed using a freeze-dry method to extract the water via a vacuum. During this process all proteins are removed from the bone making it safe to use. Unlike autogenous bone (bone taken from your own body), allogenic bone cannot produce new bone cells on its own. Rather, it serves as a framework or scaffold over which bone from the surrounding bony walls can grow into to fill the defect or void.
Demineralized Bone Matrix (DMB)/ Demineralized Freeze-Dried Bone Allograft (DFDBA):
This product is processed allograft bone, containing collagen, proteins, and growth factors that are extracted from the allograft bone. It is available in the form of powder, putty, chips, or as a gel that can be injected through a syringe.
Graft composites consist of other bone graft materials and growth factors to achieve the benefit of a variety of substances. Some combinations may include: collagen/ceramic composite, which closely resembles the composition of natural bone, DBM combined with bone marrow cells, which aid in the growth of new bone, or a collagen/ceramic/autograph composite.
Bone Morphogenetic Proteins:
Bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) are proteins naturally produced in the body that promote and regulate bone formation and healing.
Each bone grafting option has its own risks and benefits. Dr. Scholes will determine which type of bone graft material is right for you.