Dental implants are a superior tooth replacement option because they are structurally complete, consisting of both a root-like structure, which is the titanium cylinder implant itself, and a prosthetic crown. However, some patients may not be good candidates for dental implants initially if they have suffered bone loss at the implant site. In order to determine if dental implants are feasible in your case, you should schedule a consultation with an oral surgeon.
The process of osseointegration, in which the bone affixes to the titanium implant, confers the benefits associated with this treatment option. It requires adequate bone tissue to fully incorporate the implant into the jaw’s structure. Unfortunately, bone loss often follows tooth loss, as the tooth’s roots are no longer present to secure the jawbone, which gradually withers away as a result.
At your initial consultation, your oral surgeon will examine your jaw and use internal imaging to assess the quality of bone at the implant site. If bone loss is too advanced, the surgeon may recommend a bone graft to supplement the tissue and improve the chances of a successful osseointegration process.
If a bone graft is necessary in your case, the oral surgeon may remove donor tissue from another site in your body, such as your chin or your hip. Other potential sources of donor bone for a graft include animal bone, cadaver bone or synthetically created materials.
A bone graft will extend your treatment timeline, but it’s a worthwhile investment because it greatly increases the likelihood of long-term dental implant success. If you were to have dental implants placed in a location without enough bone, the chances of premature failure are quite high.
The benefits that a patient gets from dental implants are tremendous. By acting like artificial tooth roots, they help to prevent jawbone resorption and allow the prosthetic to withstand stronger chewing forces that are needed to process raw fruits and vegetables, along with other healthy foods.
Do you want to find out if you are a good candidate for dental implants? Call our office to schedule an evaluation.