What You Need To Know About Bone Grafts And Bone Loss

Posted on: 14 August 2015

If you've ever lost a permanent tooth you're at risk for bone loss. Bone loss can seriously affect your oral health and your visual appearance. By knowing how bone loss affects you and how to prevent and correct it, you will be able to maintain your dental health and your appearance.

The Role Teeth Play In Bone Loss

Your jawbone is surprisingly sensitive. When you lose a tooth your jawbone senses that loss. Your jawbone is capable of sensing the tooth's root and feeling the vibrations of your tooth. When the tooth is missing, your jawbone will think that its job is through and begin to break down to be absorbed by your body. The more teeth you're missing the more accelerated this process will be. As your jawbone and the surrounding soft tissues begin to atrophy your face will age significantly.

How Implants Can Help

Dental implants can substitute for the sensation of a live tooth in your jawbone. The posts of the implant will mimic the vibrations of a live tooth and signal your body that your jawbone is still necessary. Thankfully, this means having dental implants installed will slow or stop your jawbone from being absorbed by your body.

However, not everyone is a candidate for dental implants. You may not be eligible for dental implants if there is an infection in your system. An infection would prevent the implants from being successfully installed. You also may not be eligible for implants if you're younger, as your jawbone must be finished growing in order to handle implants.

When You Need A Bone Graft

Bone grafts come into play when you've been missing your teeth for a while and subsequently, your jawbone has already decayed. The main form of bone graft is known as a xenograft. These bone grafts come from cows and are used to supplement your existing jaw bone. After the xenograft has been implanted, your body is tricked into thinking that it's really your bone. Over time the cow bone tissue will be replaced with your own bone tissue. In the meantime however, the cow bone graft will prevent your jawbone and the surrounding soft tissues from wearing down. After the bone graft successfully takes, you are eligible to have implants installed.

If you think you might be at risk for bone loss it's time to have a conversation with your dentist. They will be able to advise you of the procedures necessary to maintain your dental health. 

To learn more, contact a dental office like Greeley Dental Health