Tooth Bone Loss

Tooth bone loss can be caused by a gum infection that damages soft tissues and destroys the bone.

Your natural teeth are surrounded by alveolar bone, and it contains the bony sockets holding your teeth. Your teeth are attached to these sockets by periodontal ligaments, which are stretchy pieces of tissue.

What Causes Tooth Bone Loss?

Alveolar bone and the periodontal ligaments can be destroyed by periodontal disease or because of trauma. Tooth extraction bone loss can occur if the bony sockets around your teeth become damaged during tooth removal.

Is This Bone Loss Reversible?

Tooth bone loss is reversible with bone grafting techniques. When your alveolar bone or jawbone is damaged, the missing bone will need replacing in preparation for dental implants. Every dental implant must be surrounded by several millimeters of healthy bone to ensure it can bond or osseointegrate with this bone.

How Will I Know if I Need a Bone Graft?

When you first see our implant dentist, we will assess your dental health care, including your jawbone. Digital dental x-rays provide 2-D images of your jawbone condition, but we can visualize it more fully with a cone beam CT scan, which gives 3-D images. The information allows us to evaluate your jaws closely, and to tell if we can successfully insert dental implants.
Sometimes, we can locate dental implants to use available bone effectively, potentially reducing the need for bone grafting. Other times, bone grafting can help to improve not only the success of implant treatment but also overall aesthetics. When you have the correct amount of jawbone, it provides essential support for your cheeks and lips, restoring the correct facial dimensions between your upper and lower jaw.

How do Dentists Rebuild Tooth Bone Loss?

Your cone beam CT scan allows us to see which areas need more bone, which is placed during a short surgical procedure. The dentist will make a small incision into the gum to expose the bone so they can place the bone grafting material precisely.

Afterward, the bone graft will need time to heal. Often the bone graft creates a scaffold that encourages your body to produce new bone. This ‘scaffold’ is eventually replaced with your bone. If your tooth bone loss is minimal, we can sometimes replace this bone when we place the implant, so only a single surgical procedure is needed. The technique used depends on where the bone is needed. Bone grafting techniques include:

  • Socket preservation, where additional bone is placed into the empty socket immediately after tooth removal.
  • Ridge augmentation builds up the bony ridge that supported your natural teeth and can restore its correct height and width.
  • Sinus augmentation ‘lifts’ the membrane between your sinus cavities and jawbone, just above your upper back teeth, creating a space that is filled with bone grafting material.

Is Bone Grafting Safe?

The materials used to rebuild tooth bone loss are very safe and high quality. Sometimes we will use a patient’s bone that we take from another site in their body, often from the jaw. Other times the bone graft is made from donor bone that is either bovine or human. Donor bone is rigorously tested and sterilized to ensure it is safe for use. Artificial bone is frequently used and contains growth factors that help to encourage new bone growth, so it is extremely effective.

Do you have any questions about dental solutions for replacing tooth bone loss in Queens, NY? Would you like to schedule an appointment with the best dental implant specialist of Gentle Dental, please contact our Bayside office for a consultation at (718) 461-0100.

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Bayside, NY 11358


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