Every person missing one or more teeth should have dental implants to replace those missing teeth. Dental implants are without an equal in the world of dental prosthetics. They look exactly like a natural tooth. They function just like a natural tooth because they are anchored into the jawbone, just like a natural tooth. You can eat anything you want with a dental implant. And odds are they will last the remainder of your life.
What’s not to love?
A lack of jawbone mass is what’s not to love. Implants require a certain amount of jawbone to anchor into. Without it, the implant can fail.
But there is a way to regain jawbone mass, enough so that you can then have an implant or implants placed. The procedure is called bone grafting, and Dr. Brown has been doing it for 34 years.
How Is Jawbone Mass Lost?
You don’t realize this, but chewing and biting create a tremendous amount of bite force energy. When chewing and biting, this energy passes down into the teeth and from the teeth into the jawbone beneath them. That energy triggers the jawbone to shed old bone cells and replace them with new cells. This cycle keeps the jawbone healthy. When a tooth or a series of teeth are missing, the jawbone no longer receives that energy, and it begins to resorb. This deterioration continues and is the reason people missing all or most of their teeth can appear as if their jaw is collapsing inwards.
While this on its own is a problem, it also precludes the patient from having dental implants placed, whether to replace missing teeth or as anchors for sets of dentures.
Rebuilding the Jawbone
To solve this lack of bone mass, Dr. Brown uses bone grafting. The idea is to use bone grafts to encourage the jawbone to build new mass, giving it enough space to adequately anchor an implant. Dr. Brown can use various grafting materials: the patient’s own bone from a donor site (such as the hipbone), bone from a bone bank (cadaver bone), bovine (cow bone), or a variety of synthetic bone substitutes.
Dr. Brown makes a slight incision in the gums to access the jawbone beneath. He then places the bone graft in the area where the bone needs to be expanded. He then closes the gum incision. The grafted bone is allowed to heal for three to six months. By that time, there is usually sufficient new bone to hold the implant. In some cases, the bone graft material can be placed at the same time as the implant, if the need for new mass isn’t excessive.
Schedule a Consultation
If you’re missing a tooth or a series of teeth, dental implants with Dr. Brown and the Implant Dentistry of Florida team are the best replacement option. Call us at (321) 372-7700 to schedule a consultation.