Dental implants have allowed thousands of people to enjoy fully functional teeth replacements that look and feel like real teeth. After a successful implant procedure, patients regain the ability to talk, smile and eat with the confidence that their new teeth will perform well. For people who are missing a tooth or multiple teeth, implants are a very desirable option.
When Are Bone Grafts Necessary?
Not everyone is initially a candidate for dental implants, however. Implants, unlike dentures, are attached directly to the patient’s jawbone, so a strong and healthy bone structure is necessary before someone can receive them. For people who are able to replace a tooth soon after it is lost, the jawbone is usually strong as long as it has not been affected by disease. Jaw health can be a problem when a significant amount of time passes between the loss of a tooth and the attempt to replace it. Without a tooth to support, jawbone gradually weakens and deteriorates, which can make it unsuitable for dental implants. Bone grafting is necessary in these cases and can sufficiently fortify the jawbone in many people.
How Does Bone Grafting Work?
If you are a candidate and decide to undergo a bone graft procedure, the first step is to obtain the graft tissue. This typically comes from another bone in the patient’s own body, but it can also be acquired from donors, animals or synthetic materials. During the procedure, the gums are temporarily separated from the underlying bone and the graft tissue is attached with a screw or a special dissolvable membrane. The gums are then sutured back into place, and both the bone and gums heal over time.
If you have missing teeth and want to pursue dental implants in Virginia Beach, VA, call us today at 757-251-9908 to schedule an appointment. Dr. Kenneth Cavallari will be able to answer your questions and determine your candidacy for implants.
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