Alternatives to Bone Grafting
Deciding whether bone grafting is right for you means considering the alternatives to bone grafting in Southlake. If you opt not to get bone grafting, you have essentially four options:
- No-graft implant solutions
- Dental bridge
- Traditional denture
- No tooth replacement
None of these offer the same benefits as bone grafting, but in some cases, they might be right for you.
No-Graft Implant Solutions
Sometimes you can get dental implants without a bone graft. Placing implants where you don’t have enough bone to support them puts the implant at risk. Some implant solutions, though, are designed to work with less bone. With these implant solutions, you might experience:
- Limited function
- Less than a full set of teeth
- Lower durability
- Compromised aesthetics
Whenever you’re working with less bone than is ideal, you have to make compromises. The exact nature of the compromise depends on your individual situation. In some cases, this might be the right choice for you.
A dental bridge lets you replace a missing tooth using support from your remaining teeth. Normally, we use two dental crowns over natural teeth to support a single replacement tooth. Your dental bridge will initially look attractive and let you bite and chew normally. However, if you continue to lose bone at the site where you lost your tooth, it can create a visible space under your replacement tooth. It also increases the risk of losing the supporting teeth, though this might not be a large increase, depending on the teeth and their location.
Traditional dentures don’t depend on your bone. Instead, they just sit on top of your gums. If you are replacing less than a full set of teeth, what we call a partial denture, the denture might also use hooks or clasps around natural teeth for stability. With a traditional denture, you can expect:
- Diminished bite force
- Unstable dentures
- Continued loss of bone mass
- Aged appearance
Because traditional dentures don’t have the support of your bone, they don’t let you bite as hard as you can with natural teeth or dental implants. Dentures also tend to move around the mouth because they are not firmly anchored.
Without stimulation from teeth or from dental implants, your jaw bone continues to shrink. This contributes to the aged appearance you likely already associate with denture wearers.
FOY® Dentures are more stable, strong, and attractive than other traditional dentures, though they may still fall short of what dental implants give you.
No Tooth Replacement
Of course, you always have the option of not replacing a lost tooth. If you do this, you might experience multiple effects, including:
- Unattractive smile
- Drifting teeth
- Difficulty cleaning teeth
- Increased risk of losing more teeth
A missing tooth is probably the most noticeable cosmetic concern people have about their smiles. In addition to being noticeable, people have preconceived notions about people who have missing teeth, which can cause them to jump to conclusions about you.
If you have a gap left by a missing tooth, the rest of your teeth may drift into the open space. This can make them crooked and can make it hard to keep your teeth clean. Cleaning problems, drifting, and the increased force on each remaining tooth can increase your risk of losing more teeth in the future.