Many patients who wish to replace missing teeth with dentures or dental implants have experienced jaw bone atrophy (shrinking) as a result of having missing teeth for many years. Patients who have worn dentures for many years often complain that their dentures are loose or their jaw has atrophied to the point that their face appears sunken. A patient who wishes to replace missing teeth with dental implants may not have adequate bone depth or width to accommodate dental implants.
Bone grafting is a procedure that is performed in order to replace the atrophied bone and replace height and width in the alveolar ridge, creating ideal structure for denture or dental implant placement. This procedure involves transplanting a patient’s own bone from another area of the body or jaw into the atrophied area, effectively rebuilding the structure of the jaw bone. Sometimes, donor bone may be used in order to supplement the patient’s own bone. Once the bone graft is placed, it may take 3-5 months for the graft to heal and become solid enough to accommodate the placement of a dental implant.
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