We often think about oral health in terms of our teeth and gums, but the health of your underlying bone tissue is also of great importance. A strong alveolar ridge - the part of the jawbone where the teeth attach, is key to having strong teeth or stable dental implants and/or permanent dentures.
Tooth loss affects much more than just the aesthetics of your smile. It can lead to drifting of neighboring teeth out of their proper places, difficulty chewing and pronouncing, deterioration of periodontal tissue, and more. But one of the easiest problems caused by tooth loss to overlook is something that occurs out of sight, below the gums - bone loss.
Bone grafts can often become necessary in an number of different dental situations, and in fact there are three common types of bone grafts and a half-dozen or so reasons for needing one. Here we will focus on the two most commons reasons for dental bone grafts.
In earlier decades, before dental implants became available and common, there were already dental bone grafts. But these were aimed at simply creating a stable base for dentures and were imperfect by today's standards.
If you are considering getting dental implants, either to replace individual missing teeth or to form a strong base of support for permanent dentures, it is possible you may need to undergo ridge augmentation surgery first.