For a dental implant to be successful, your jawbone must have enough bone mass or thickness and be solid enough to support the implant. If either of these requirements is lacking in your jawbone, your periodontist may suggest a bone graft to give you a firm foundation for the implant. Periodontist Dr. J. Alexander Withers is skilled at performing bone grafts and dental implants that will give you a beautiful, lasting smile.  
Filling the Gap  
When you lose a tooth or have one removed, you need to fill that space with a bridge or dental implant. The replacement tooth helps maintain proper spacing for surrounding teeth and prevent bacteria from collecting there, which can contribute to gum disease.  
If you are considering dental implants, or if you think you ever might want them, it is important that you fill that empty bone socket. Without tooth roots that need its support, your jawbone in that spot recedes over time to create a pocket or hollow. An implanted tooth would not reach to the height of surrounding teeth, and a bridge would not extend low enough to cover the depression. In either case, it is not going to be pretty.  
Bone on Bone  
Typically, your periodontist will work to preserve the bone with a graft using sterile particles of ground human bone, filling the tooth socket upon removal of a tooth. Your bone should grow to fit the socket, which protects the bone height for future restoration. For those with empty sockets for many years, you likely have bone loss that requires something a little different to restore the bone. In this case, Dr. Withers cuts the space open and again use bone granules, including some of your own, shaved off the jawbone in another area.  
The grafting process can take several months for proper healing, but it is worth the time to have your smile restored. For more information about bone grafts in Fairfax, VA, contact our office today!