Bone plays a vital piece in your oral health and in some cases, bone regeneration will help restore the function and aesthetics to your smile. 

There are many things that can affect our dental health — from the foods we eat to our at-home dental routine, but chronic gum disease may lead to bone loss. Teeth are often lost to trauma and decay, but when a person has periodontal disease (gum disease) the bacteria gradually begins to eat the bone, destroying both bone and tissue in the process. 

This is why tooth replacement is so integral — when the tooth is not replaced the jawbone begins to shrink from inactivity, and the shape of the jaw is lost. 

Do you need a solution to one or several missing teeth? At the Alaska Center For Oral + Facial Surgery, we specialize in bone regeneration and dental implants so you can get back to living life! Learn more about bone regeneration in today’s post. 

Preventing gum disease is imperative to maintaining bone health in your jaw! Stay on top of it by:

  • Maintaining optimal at-home dental care (brushing and flossing)
  • Scheduling routine dental cleanings and exams
  • Making lifestyle changes by eating healthier, quitting smoking, and assessing your alcohol intake. 

Prevention is always the standard but if you have bone loss, bone regeneration is the solution!

Regenerative Procedures – Bone Regeneration

To restore and fortify your jawbone, there are regenerative procedures that can amend lost bone and tissue to reverse some of the damage that was caused by tooth decay and gum disease. 

What’s the difference between bone grafting and bone regeneration?

In bone grafting, a donor bone is taken from somewhere else in the body such as the hip. The bone is then used in conjunction with a dental implant site and incorporated into the jaw. 

Bone grafts are useful in the back of the upper jaw where the bone is typically thinner because it’s under the sinus cavity. A common procedure where bone graft or bone material is used is in a sinus lift or to augment a ridge that is too narrow or thin to hold dental implants. 

Bone regeneration, on the other hand, works with your body’s natural ability to produce more of your own bone tissue. A matrix or membrane may be placed at the specific site where proteins are placed to stimulate the growth of new bone tissue. 

An allograft is typically what is used in bone grafting for dental implants. Bone is prepared from cadavers and then used with the patient’s own bone to regenerate bone at the repair site.   

What happens in a bone regeneration treatment?

A bone regeneration treatment is an outpatient surgery, and depending on the desired treatment outcome — dental implants or other prosthetics — it may extend the overall treatment window. It is important to mention that even though a bone regeneration procedure may put a slight delay in getting dental implants, it may very well, and most likely, increase your chances of a positive treatment outcome.   

Bone regeneration is carried out under anesthesia where an incision is created in the gum at the site where the bone loss in your jaw has occurred. The material is then placed and covered and the surgery site is stitched. 

At one point, people suffering from tooth loss as a result of trauma, severe tooth decay, or gum disease didn’t have many options. But today and with the innovation of bone regeneration, patients with bone loss can still be eligible for dental implants. 

If you have bone loss in your jaw that is impacting the way you look and how you eat and speak, schedule a bone regeneration consultation with us today!