After tooth extraction, gum disease, or bone lesions, over a period of time, the jawbone is reabsorbed or atrophied, condition that may require a bone graft procedure. This often leaves a condition where there is poor quality and quantity of adequate bone for dental implant placement. In these situations, most patients are not candidates for dental implant placement without bone grafts because dental implants require bone to support their structure.
In the same way that muscles are maintained through exercise, bone tissue is maintained by using. Natural teeth are embedded within the jaw and stimulate bone through activities like chewing and biting. When an adult tooth is extracted and not replaced, the jaw, or the part of the jaw that anchors the teeth, no longer receives the necessary stimulation and begins to atrophy or reabsorb. The rate at which bone deteriorates, as well as the amount of bone loss that occurs, varies greatly between individuals. However, most bone loss occurs within the first eighteen months after extraction and continues throughout life. The body no longer uses or "needs" the maxilla, or the portion of the maxilla, so it deteriorates.
With bone grafting, we now have the ability not only to replace bone where it is lacking, but also from generate new bone growth at that location. This not only gives us the opportunity to place implants of the appropriate size, but it also gives us the opportunity to restore functionality and aesthetic appearance.
The following are the most common causes of jaw deterioration and bone loss that may require a bone graft procedure: