Natural teeth are embedded in the jawbone, and stimulate the jawbone through activities such as chewing and biting. When teeth are missing, the portion of the jawbone that anchors the teeth in the mouth no longer receives essential stimulation and thus begins to break down, or resorb. The body no longer uses or “needs” the jawbone, so it deteriorates and goes away.
A ridge augmentation is a common dental procedure often performed to help recreate the natural contour of the gums and jaw that may have been compromised due to bone loss as a result of a tooth extraction. The ridge augmentation is optimally performed immediately following the extraction, but sometimes can be performed to repair bone loss that has already occurred.
Removal of teeth is sometimes necessary because of pain, infection, bone loss, fracture of the tooth, or injury. The bone that holds the tooth in place (the socket) is often damaged by disease and/or infection resulting in deformity of the jaw after the tooth is extracted. In addition, when teeth are extracted, the surrounding bone and gums can shrink and recede very quickly after the extraction resulting in unsightly defects and collapsing of the lips, and cheeks.
At extraction or tooth loss sites, the bone of the jaw can diminish over time. This loss of bone can develop into additional problems, both with your appearance and overall health.
The Importance of Teeth for Jaw Bone Health:
- Problems with remaining teeth including misalignment, drifting, loosening and loss
Collapsed facial profile
Limited lip support
The maxillary sinuses are behind your cheeks and above the upper teeth. These sinuses are empty, air-filled spaces. Some of the roots of the natural upper teeth extend up into the maxillary sinuses. When these upper teeth are removed, there is often just a thin wall of bone separating the maxillary sinus and the mouth.
Dental implants need bone to hold them in place. When the sinus wall is very thin, it is impossible to place dental implants in this bone. A sinus augmentation can raise the sinus floor and allow for new bone formation. A sinus lift is one of the most common bone grafting procedures for patients with bone loss in the upper jaw.
Platelet rich plasma (PRP) is a by-product of blood (plasma) that is rich in platelets. PRP is an available and practical tool for enhancing the rate of bone formation and the final quantity of bone formed. PRP permits the body to take advantage of normal healing at a greatly accelerated rate.
Until now, platelet rich plasma has been confined to the hospital opperatories. New technology now allows Dr. Hribernik and Dr. Gray to use PRP for in office surgeries. PRP can be used to aid bone grafting for dental implants, sinus lift procedures, and ridge augmentation procedures, closure of cleft and/or lip, and palate defects. It can also assist in repair of bone defects created by removal of teeth, or small cysts and repair of fistulas between the sinus cavity and mouth.