Losing a tooth can be a confusing time. There are many decisions that need to be made quickly. What am I going to do to replace the tooth? What do I need to do to keep my options open? How am I going to eat?
Dr. Sinick and the team at Sinick Family Dental want to make this confusing time simpler for you.
There are a few different ways to replace a missing tooth – implants, bridges, or partials. All of these are good solutions. There is one thing that is crucial to the success of any of these treatments, however, and that is the amount and quality of bone you have.
When a tooth is extracted, there is a race to determine what is going to fill the hole left by the tooth – your gum tissue or bone. If you allow your body to heal naturally without intervention, your gums will win the race. That means that you will lose bone height and width where your tooth once was. Your bone levels will continue to shrink over time if force is not applied through chewing, much like the way your muscles get smaller when you stop lifting weights.
The amount of bone you have will determine what options you have. If you lose too much bone, you may not be able to get the treatment that you want. There is an important similarity between implants, bridges, or partials – the more bone you have, the better your chances for success and the better the results. Doing a bone graft at the time of your extraction is the absolute BEST way to maintain the most bone possible, so if you are thinking of replacing a tooth, doing a bone graft is an investment in your own dental future.
There are three main types of bone graft material: cadaver bone, bone from another animal such as a cow, or artificial bone. What type of bone we use depends on the situation, but we typically get the best results from using cadaver bone. Cadaver bone graft material has been irradiated, demineralized, and closely tested and followed. There has never been a single case of any disease transmission, so there is no need to worry about that.
Bone grafts do a couple different things. They hold the space where your tooth once was, and they provide a scaffold for your own bone to grow. Over the course of the four-month healing time, your body will completely replace the grafting material with your own natural bone. This will create an ideal foundation for an implant to be placed or help give you the best result for your partial or bridge.
If you have any questions or would like to schedule a consultation, please give us a call at (330) 725-9851. Dr. Sinick would love to sit down with you and explain the whole procedure and answer any questions you might have.