When a permanent tooth is lost, several things begin to happen. The part of the jawbone where the tooth was begins to deteriorate as does the gum. The deterioration of bone happens at a surprisingly rapid pace within the first year after the loss of the tooth. This means that even if it has only been a matter of months since you have lost a tooth, there may have been significant deterioration of the jawbone. This could mean that before a dental implant can be placed, the bone must be rebuilt.
Standard Bone Graft
All of the methods for rebuilding the jawbone use a variation on bone grafting, and this is the most common type of bone graft. Other bone from inside the mouth, bone from another part of the person’s body, a donor bone or synthetic material may all be used to build the jawbone back. Eventually, the grafted bone or material becomes part of the original bone.
Ridge Modification or Expansion
Sometimes, the jaw may be too narrow for an implant. This method creates a ridge on the top of the jaw that the implant can be placed in.
Sinus Augmentation, Lift or Elevation
Bone deterioration in the upper back teeth can lead to a growing sinus cavity. This particular type of graft rebuilds the area below the sinus. There is no effect on a person’s breathing or speech.