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Video: What is Bone Loss?

Video: What is Bone Loss?

We lose bone mostly because we have a tooth that’s removed – an injury to the alveolus, the jawbone. An injury to the jawbone usually is the removal of the tooth, an infection of some sort, or maybe trauma. Usually, a tooth has to be lost because of some damage, and by removing the tooth, we leave this big space in there.  

The biology of the system is pretty beautiful. And if we take out a tooth, the body wants to heal, and it doesn’t heal and say, Well, we’d better preserve this amount of space for the implant that’s coming in next. So someone has to do that. We actually called bone grafting guided bone regeneration action because we’re really guiding the bone to be the form that we want it to be.  

The body’s fixing it the best way it knows how, and it doesn’t preserve the space necessarily. It actually likes to use its resources wisely. If there’s no tooth there as it’s healing, the body kind of asks with these cellular signaling molecules, “Well, why do we need so much bone here at all? Maybe we can use it in our leg or our hand”. So, the resources that we have circulating in our body will sacrifice some of those slowly, and the bone will just not be used in a certain way. It’s not stimulated by chewing function. There’s no more tooth there or section of teeth, so it slowly starts to resort. Now, resorption also an interesting fact, the lower jaw is made from a different embryonic origin when we’re in utero. Literally, it’s a different embryonic origin, the lower jaw, than the upper jaw and skull. So, the bone density also dictates how quickly or rapidly bone will resort. The more dense bone stays longer, the less dense bone goes away quicker, the bone in the upper jaw, it’s generally speaking, less dense, especially in the back of the upper jaw.  

If you think about the teeth, the three routes to the molar chewing tooth, wide surface areas that you can really chew on it significantly. The bone density in the back of the upper jaw is pretty soft and most patients in the front, it’s a little harder. But the hardest bone, generally speaking, is in the lower anterior or the front of the lower jaw.

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