Missing teeth over a period of time can cause your jaw bone to atrophy, or partially dissolve. This often results in poor quality and quantity of bone suitable for the placement of dental implants as well as long term shifting of remaining teeth and changes to facial structure.
Fortunately, today we have the ability to grow bone where it is needed. This not only gives us the opportunity to place implants of proper length and width, but it also gives us a chance to restore functionality and aesthetic appearance.
Bone grafting can repair implant sites with inadequate bone structure due to previous extractions, gum disease, or injuries. There are many sources of bone material including autogenous (using a person’s own bone from a different area), allograft (donated, treated human bone), xenograft (treated animal bone), or alloplast (synthetic bone). Many times a mineralized bone product is the most common option, leading to minimal discomfort, exceptional safety, and excellent results. In addition, special membranes may be utilized that dissolve under the gum to protect the bone graft, as well as encourage bone regeneration. This is called guided bone regeneration, or guided tissue regeneration.