The Answer to Your Tooth Troubles Could Be a Corpse

Dental patients who need grafts or implants might be surprised by the spooky options they’re faced with. Read on to learn how dentists can give bones a new life with dental implants.


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Teeth and Bones Go Hand in Hand

Teeth and bones work together in eerie ways. Your teeth rely on your jawbone to provide support and hold your teeth securely in place inside your mouth. In fact, the roots of your teeth actually stimulate jawbone growth, so your jawbone is more developed in areas where it directly supports your teeth.

When you lose a tooth or have one extracted, the underlying jawbone no longer receives that stimulation from the root of your tooth. Since that portion of your jawbone is no longer needed for tooth support, it typically starts to shrink away immediately.

Why You Might Need a Bone Graft

Not everyone can sport the missing-tooth look, so many people opt for a dental implant to compensate for tooth loss. If your jawbone has already started to atrophy, however, your implant might be left without anything to anchor it in place. Since the receding jawbone also causes the surrounding teeth to shift position, you might also have a smaller tooth gap to contend with.

This is where bone grafting comes into play. Essentially, grafting, the process of using existing bone to generate new bone, allows patients to regrow much-needed jawbone support. Though this sounds like a scary procedure, rest assured that highly qualified dental surgeons perform grafting regularly.

How Bone Grafts Work

When you find a dental provider to handle your dental implant and bone grafting procedures, you’ll learn that you can approach a graft in several ways. Dentists often recommend using the patient’s own bone in the grafting procedure. To make this work, they take a small amount of bone from areas near your teeth, like your jawbone or chin. This is a popular option because using your own bone introduces a very low level of risk or rejection.

If you’d rather let your bones stay right where they are, you have a couple of other options to consider. Many patients opt to use human cadaver bones, which usually arrive freeze-dried and ready for a new life in your mouth. Others go for cow bones, which work remarkably well to stimulate human bone growth. Still others opt for synthetic bone, a sterile option that sounds less frightening but doesn’t always work as well as the natural options.

Depending on the type of implant you need, dentists can either introduce the new implant at the same time they perform the bone graft, or they can let the new bone develop for a period of time before adding the dental implant. Either way, your teeth will look as good as new in a few weeks or a few months.

Bone grafts and dental implants are complex but relatively common procedures, so when your dental surgeon proposes using cadaver bones, there’s no need to worry that he’s really Dr. Frankenstein. Get your dazzling smile back, and sign up for Carefree Dental to save up to 50 percent on this and other procedures.

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