There are several complex consequences of oral health conditions like tooth loss and the underlying factors that lead up to it. Among these is often the weakening and erosion of your healthy jawbone structure, which is one of the more significant underlying causes of tooth loss, as well as one of its most important consequences. Because the bone structures that make up your upper and lower dental ridges also make up the foundations of your smile, restoring your oral health may require bone grafting to some degree.

When jawbone grafting might be expected

The point of grafting donor bone or other biocompatible material to your jawbone is to provide your smile’s foundation with the mass, density, support, and stability that it needs. These can be compromised due to one or several different conditions, such as the severe progression of periodontal disease (or periodontitis). As the disease erodes your gums and jawbone structures, it can lead to or exacerbate your risks of tooth loss. Also, losing a tooth’s root can cause the bone structure around it to shrink,  and for some patients, an appropriate dental implant restoration can’t be successfully placed until the bone has regained its strength.

Upper vs. lower jawbone grafting

The process of grafting your lower dental ridge, or mandible, is different than the process of grafting your upper dental ridge, which is close to your sinus floor. When grafting your lower jawbone structure, you have more space to work with and more bone structure for the graft to interact with. However, for upper bone grafting, also known as a sinus lift, grafting the bone structure may first require gently lifting the sinus floor to make room for the graft.

Reducing the need for bone grafting

Patients who can benefit most from jawbone grafting are typically those who’ve lost an extensive amount of bone structure in their upper and/or lower dental ridges. This amount of lost mass and density can significantly impact your long-term oral health, as well as the function of your bite and the placement of your dental implant restoration. While grafting may be appropriate, we also strive to keep dental implant treatment minimally invasive, such as utilizing small-diameter dental implants to help more patients reduce their need for jawbone grafting.

Learn more about jawbone grafting

Jawbone grafting, or dental ridge augmentation, might be necessary for some smile restoration procedures, but avoiding it may be easier than you expect. To learn more, schedule a free consultation by calling The Dental Implant Place in Ft. Worth, TX, today at 817-560-0414.