The human mouth usually has 28 teeth (32 if you count wisdom teeth). The National Institute of Health did a survey a couple years back to find out how many teeth people were missing. The average? People between the ages of 20 and 64 have an average of 24.92 teeth remaining, so the average is over three teeth.
Many people think this isn’t a big deal. So what if you’re missing a tooth or a few teeth here and there?
The real problem is twofold. First, the adjacent teeth try and move over to fill in the gap, messing up your bite.
Second is your underlying jaw. There is a good deal of force exerted by chewing and biting. That force is sent through the teeth down into the jawbone. This energy is what keeps the jawbone healthy and regenerating new bone. But when there are missing teeth the jawbone no longer receives stimulation in those areas, so the jawbone begins to shrink in those spots, especially if more than one tooth is missing in a row.
The way to counter this bone loss it to utilize bone grafting. At the Doctors of Dental Medicine, we don’t use bone grafting just for its own sake. We use bone grafting to rebuild the jawbone to allow us to place a dental implant. And we use grafting to fill in periodontal pockets after the extraction of a tooth.
How is bone grafting done?
In a bone grafting procedure, Dr. Hirschlag first makes a small incision in the gum, pulling it away from the bone. He then places the regenerative bone grafting material, along with platelet-rich protein to stimulate growth and promote healing. From there your body takes over, forming healthy new bone that will support a dental implant.
Why is this important?
We use bone grafting to build up the jawbone in able to place a dental implant. If there isn’t sufficient bone to support the implant, we can’t place it. Once we have the jawbone mass up to where we feel it is sufficient, we place the titanium implant into the socket of your former tooth. Over the course of the next three to six months, the jawbone will integrate the titanium implant and it will then be ready for the abutment and the crown on top of it.
If you have missing teeth, please get a hold of us at the Doctors of Dental Medicine, 732-329-3113. We can discuss your options such as bone grafting that can prevent or reduce jawbone loss.