The following is a list of factors to consider when a patient is interested in receiving dental implants.
How can a dental implant help with bone loss?
In the case of individual tooth loss, dental implants are inserted into the jaw at the site of the missing tooth. Dental implants prevent the natural shrinkage of the jawbone by effectively replacing the lost tooth root.
What if there isn’t enough bone to support an implant?
In cases where the patient has lost a tooth for some time before an implant procedure is first contemplated, there will almost certainly be bone loss. If this is the case, the patient’s bone loss can be treated by a process called bone augmentation. It is a procedure which has been successfully carried out for years.
What options are available for augmenting existing bone?
There are a variety of methods in use to augment existing bone. A dental professional will assess a patient’s unique circumstances and select an appropriate method. Methods may vary depending on the location or number of implants needed.
Bone grafting is perhaps the most common method. Bone grafting involves adding bone (or bone substitute) material to the jaw. Another method of dealing with bone loss is a sinus lift. A sinus lift is used when the back part of the upper jaw does not contain enough bone material to allow implants to be placed.
Yet another method is called distraction osteogenesis, which is used to increase the height of existing bone when it is too short for the placement of a dental implant. This procedure allows for the creation of new bone material over time.
Dental implant procedure once bone loss has been addressed
Once the underlying condition of bone loss has been treated, dental implant surgery can occur as it normally would. This procedure is usually carried out under local anesthesia. The implant surgery itself is minimally invasive and leaves no open wounds. Because of this, there is generally minimal discomfort following the procedure.
After the dental implant is placed
A dental implant will typically require a period of two to four months to completely fuse with the patient’s jawbone. The required time will vary, depending on the healing rate of the individual patient and the preexisting bone density at the site of the lost tooth. Once the implant has completely fused with the bone surrounding it, a crown can be attached.
The bottom line
Bone loss is a treatable condition and does not prevent the use of dental implants. Once treated successfully, the dental implant procedure is undertaken as normal. Even if a patient has experienced some bone loss due to a lost tooth, there are remedies available to them. The best course of action is to contact a dentist today for further consultation.
Call our Leawood, KS, dental office to make an appointment with a dentist who may be able to help you find out more about this topic, and improve your oral health.