BONE LOSS IN TEETH
Bone loss in teeth not only leaves unattractive spaces but it can also make it difficult to achieve an aesthetic restoration.
It’s important to have sufficient bone in your mouth for both aesthetic and functional reasons. If an accident or gum disease results in the loss of teeth or extraction, the bone and gum tissue surrounding the missing teeth heals at a slightly lower height than the adjacent tissue – often resulting in a bone defect.
The teeth will appear much longer than the neighbouring teeth, unless the defect can be masked in some way. It’s then extremely difficult, sometimes impossible, to replace the missing teeth with an aesthetically pleasing, well-fitting fixed bridge.
Treatment for teeth bone loss
A number of techniques are available to correct bone loss around teeth:
- Regenerative bone &/or gum grafting – rebuilding or regenerating bone and gum tissue around and between the teeth
- Composite bonding – to reshape the teeth to hide ‘black triangles or holes’ between the teeth
- Fixed porcelain interdental addition – gum-coloured porcelain or composite resin added to crowns or bridgework to mask the gap between the gum and the restoration
- Removable artificial tissue appliance – flexible plastic used to hide missing gum tissue
- Ridge augmentation – surgical procedure that adds grafted or synthetic bone tissue and or gum to reinstate the ridge to its correct height and shape
Tooth bone grafting
If you have extreme bone loss or have been told in the past that you have insufficient bone for dental implants, the good news is that you may now be eligible for bone grafting. If, after evaluating both your bone quality and quantity using an X-ray or CAT scan, the dental surgeon finds there isn’t enough bone for implant placement, he may recommend bone grafting.
This procedure usually involves removing a small amount of bone from another part of your body, such as your jaw or hip, which is then used to replace the missing bone in your tooth or teeth. Once everything has healed, you should have enough tooth bone to be able to support an implant.