Bone Augmentation and Nerve Repositioning
Posted on 8/15/2017 by Dr. Franco
|Dental implants are a popular option for replacing missing teeth. They provide a variety of benefits, including comfort, ease of care and the fact that they are a permanent solution to tooth loss. Quite possibly the biggest benefit, however, is that they help to preserve the integrity of your jawbone. However, for implants to be placed, you first need to have sufficient bone mass in your jaw. At Bite Lock, we can perform bone augmentations and nerve repositioning, allowing you to enjoy the many benefits that implants have to offer.
How is Bone Mass Lost?
Bone mass is lost, or resorbed, as a result of tooth loss. However, how does this happen? Your teeth play many important roles in the functions of your mouth. They allow you to bite and chew your food. They help you to speak properly. They even provide you with a beautiful smile. They also have a crucial role in the health of your jawbone. When you chew, the roots of your teeth stimulate your jawbone. This sends a message to your body to send nutrients to your jaw. When you lose your teeth, even just one, there is less stimulation. As a result, fewer nutrients are sent, and your jawbone begins to grow weak.
The Importance of Bone Mass for Implant Success
Implants rely on a process known as osseointegration. They are surgically implanted into your jaw. As your jaw heals, the bone fuses to the titanium rods. This turns your implants into a stable support for your false teeth. When you don’t have sufficient bone mass, the stability of your implants is compromised, and they can become loose or fall out.
A bone augmentation is a bone graft designed to restore mass to your jaw. It essentially builds your jaw back up so that it can successfully support dental implants. The bone used for your graft either comes from your own body or a donor. We may also use synthetic materials if we feel necessary.
The bone augmentation is a surgical procedure. We start by numbing the surgical site(s). Sedation may also be used as well. If we are using your bone, it is usually taken from your hip or your tibia. Incisions are made in your gum tissue, exposing the areas of weakness. We then pack the bone material into the designated areas and is usually secured with small titanium screws. Finally, your gums are stitched closed, and you are sent home to heal.
What is Nerve Repositioning?
Your lower jaw has a nerve, called the inferior alveolar nerve. This nerve gives feeling to your chin as well as your lower lip. Sometimes, for dental implants to be placed in your lower jaw, this nerve may need to be moved to avoid permanent nerve damage. This is done with a nerve repositioning.
To perform a nerve repositioning, a small section of bone on the outer portion of your jaw, which exposes the nerve and the vessel canal. The nerve and the vessel bundle are moved out of the way, and protected, while dental implants are being placed. Once your implants are in position, the nerve and vessel bundle are replaced. The access point is filled with graft material, and the area is stitched closed.
If you are interested in dental implants but have suffered bone loss in your jaw, bone augmentation and nerve repositioning may be able to help. Contact Bite Lock at (972) 594-7414 for more information today.
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