When a tooth is lost (or never developed), the jawbone is no longer stimulated by chewing forces, and the jawbone in the area begins to melt away – a process called resorption. This progressive bone loss weakens the jawbone, and may complicate eventual implant placement.
Missing teeth also allow neighboring and opposing teeth to drift or tip over into the empty space.
It is always best to have missing teeth replaced, even if they are in the back of the mouth where most people cannot see. Here’s why. When back teeth are lost, the chewing forces are transferred to the more delicate front teeth, which can quickly wear down. This process, called attrition, makes front teeth shorter and shorter until they are lost altogether. The shape of the face also becomes progressively shorter and more square and aged-looking because the jaws have developed an over-closed posture. Missing back teeth can also cause clicking, pain, locking, or arthritis of the jaw joints.
Bone Graft Reconstruction
After teeth are lost, the jawbone immediately begins to resorb and shrink. To prevent this, a bone graft is placed into the socket at the time of extraction. Timely extraction of hopeless teeth is also very important. Delaying extraction of diseased teeth can lead to greater bone loss, requiring more extensive bone graft reconstruction.
Deficient or resorbed areas of the jaw can be reconstructed or augmented using your own harvested bone, human donor bone, or synthetic human bone growth hormone (BMP). Most bone augmentation procedures are minor and can be done simultaneously with the implant placement. If the jaw bone has areas of severe resorption, the bone graft must be allowed to heal for several months before implants can be placed.
771 E. Daily Drive Ste. 215
Camarillo, CA 93010 805-389-9500
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Please feel free to pick up the phone and call us or send us an email with your question or request. If you are in pain or need an immediate appointment, please call one of our offices right now (we are open 8-5 Monday through Friday). Why settle for less than a board-certified oral surgical specialist with decades of experience? Let us help you get the oral surgery and dental implant care you deserve.