Implant dentistry refers to the use of dental implants to support crowns, bridges, and dentures as a means of replacing missing teeth. The dental implants are artificial tooth roots that surgically embedded into the jawbone and gum tissue of the natural teeth. When in place, they function just like your natural tooth roots.
Dental implants offer a level of stability and support that is simply not possible with removable dental appliances, even with a strong denture cream or adhesive. Yet not all patients who come to our Englewood dental center are eligible for them. For instance, people who’ve suffered from serious bone loss may not be good candidates for dental implants.
When you are missing a tooth or multiple teeth, this can lead to issues with your gums and bone structure. Without root structure to support, it’s common for the bone and gum tissues to recede. This bone loss can lead to loose teeth adjacent to the tooth gap as well as problems with the fit of your dentures or bridge.
In order to get dental implants placed, patients need to have sufficient bone density to support the implants. If bone loss has occurred, a bone grafting procedure will be necessary to rebuild the lost hard tissue. Once healing is completed, this will make someone eligible to have dental implants placed.
Good candidates for bone grafting are people who lack sufficient bone density along their jaw. They should be in good health overall so that an oral surgery procedure such as bone grafting does not pose a risk to health and wellness. It’s important that patients know the risks and benefits of bone grafting as this can offer realistic expectations about the healing and recovery process.
During bone grafting surgery, an oral surgeon has two general options for rebuilding your jawbone density:
The ideal grafting option can be discussed in greater detail during your visit. Once the graft is introduced, your natural bone structure will grow around it, building out bone structure in the process.
Patients will be given ample post-op instructions with regard to proper healing and recovery from bone graft surgery. In the early stages of recovery, patients will be encouraged to eat soft foods that don’t require much chewing and to avoid use of drinking straws to protect sutures and incision sites. Bruising, swelling, and discomfort around the bone graft area is common and typically resolves within the first week.
Patients will have a few follow-up visits with their oral surgeon to make sure they are healing properly during this process.
Healing after bone grafting surgery will usually take a few months. This is to ensure that the bone graft has been properly fused with your jawbone. After this has occurred, patients can then undergo the dental implant procedure.
For more information about bone graft surgery and how it can help you become eligible for dental implants, be sure to contact our advanced dental care center today. The team at Periodontal Associates will be more than happy to answer your questions and address your concerns.