Why Your Jawbone Matters (And How We Can Help When You Don't Have Enough)

Jan 16, 2024
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If you’re planning to get a dental implant to fill in a gap in your smile, your jawbone plays a key role. Without it, you won’t have the sturdy foundation you need.

Whether you lost a tooth in an accident or you needed it extracted because of decay, you probably want to close that gap in your smile as soon as possible. Fortunately, you have options

If you choose a dental implant to replace the missing tooth, you get a new tooth that looks, feels, and functions just like a natural tooth. Plus, your implant should last your lifetime, provided you properly care for it. 

There is one caveat here, though. To be a candidate for a dental implant, you need to have a sufficiently sturdy jawbone. 

If you don’t, you’re not necessarily out of luck. With bone grafting, you can rebuild your jaw to make it possible to get a dental implant.  And our team can help you navigate this process from our office in Glendale, California. Here at LA Dentists Group, we have extensive experience helping people get ready for a successful dental implant. 

The importance of your jawbone

You wouldn’t build a house on sand. Similarly, when it comes to getting a replacement tooth that can last your lifetime, you need a sturdy foundation.

Dental implants work because they get rooted in your mouth just like a natural tooth. The difference is that rather than using a natural tooth root, your implant uses a metal post. Once your jawbone heals around that post, your implant can withstand the force that chewing puts on it day after day.

But you need a strong jawbone to serve as that sturdy foundation. Sometimes, your jawbone will be too thin because it’s worn down over the years, or it might be too soft. That doesn’t mean you can’t get a dental implant. It just means you need to go through an extra step: bone grafting

Building up your jawbone

The goal with grafting is to create more strong, healthy jawbone. Fortunately, your body’s healing capabilities help you here. 

During bone grafting, our team inserts materials into your jawbone where you need to build it up. We have a few options we can use for bone grafting, including:

  • Your own bone
  • Bone grafts from a tissue bank
  • Synthetic material
  • Bone tissue from animals

We evaluate your specific jaw to determine which type of bone graft works best for you. Once we insert the grafting materials, your jawbone absorbs them and creates more bone cells in the area. 

We use anesthesia during bone grafting so you can stay completely comfortable as we insert the grafting material into your jaw. 

Over the months that follow, your body should build a stronger jawbone. We monitor your progress and tell you when you’re ready to get your dental implant. 

If you want to find out if you’re a candidate for a dental implant — or if you’ve been told your jawbone needs work to support one — call our office or book your appointment online today.