Braces have been used for orthodontics for over a century. They move teeth by applying force on them, slowly pushing them to a better alignment. Braces are made up of brackets that are attached to each tooth and wires that connect all the brackets on a dental arch. Increasing tension in these wires increases the…
Bone Grafting for Better Retention of Dentures
For a patient to be eligible for implant-supported dentures, bone grafting may be necessary. Most people have heard the word "dentures" tossed around, especially when talking in reference to aging individuals. Many, however, do not know much about bone grafting.
In the dental field, this common procedure is used to allow patients to have implant-supported dentures. Bone grafts are typically done when a patient’s jaw bone tissue is not sufficient to support implants.
Is bone grafting necessary before getting dentures?
Standard dentures can typically be fitted without the need for implants. However, these appliances are often not very stable when used on their own. Many have a tendency to move around in the mouth, causing discomfort, and the sets sometimes fall out of the mouth if not secured properly.
Implant-supported dentures are a popular alternative to traditional dentures. The implants help to secure the dentures, preventing them from shifting when worn. These implants must be implanted into healthy, solid bone tissue to be effective, though. Some patients with lost teeth may not have jaw bones solid enough to support implants. This is where grafting comes in.
The effects of tooth loss on the jaw bone
Periodontal disease is one of the most common causes of tooth loss. This is an infection of the gums that invades the soft tissue and destroys the bone that supports the teeth below the gums.
Even without infection, when a person loses teeth, the bone tissues around the missing teeth start to break down. The alveolar bone's function is to support and hold teeth in place. When there are no teeth to hold, the bone tissue begins to waste away since it is no longer being stimulated.
This bone tissue loss can make the person appear older and alter facial features. It can also disqualify a patient from getting implants, since these oral prosthetics have to be embedded in the jaw. Bone grafting in these cases becomes necessary in order to create a stable foundation to implant the denture supports.
The process of bone grafting
Bone grafting rebuilds lost jaw bone tissue. It is often performed by transplanting healthy bone tissue from either the hips, ribs, legs or any large bone. Sometimes the surgeon may use sterilized bone tissue drawn from animals or cadavers. There are also synthetic bone tissues like materials that can be used to perform bone grafts.
Grafting is an outpatient procedure that normally takes between 45-90 minutes. It is performed at a dentist’s clinic. The patient is sedated throughout the procedure and thus it is painless. Pain medication and antibiotics are given to reduce discomfort and prevent infection respectively.
The initial recovery period takes about two weeks, after which the patient should be able to get back to their normal routine. In most cases, it takes up to three months for the grafted bone mass to integrate with existing bone tissue.
How can bone grafts improve one's experience with dentures?
Not everyone needs a bone graft before getting implant-supported dentures. Patients who go for dental checkups regularly or seek dental care immediately after losing a tooth often do not need grafting. If it has been a while since you lost your teeth, however, you may need bone grafts to be eligible for implant-supported dentures.
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