Implant dentistry offers natural looking, long lasting replacement for teeth lost due to decay, trauma, or age. An implant requires sufficient bone tissue in the jaw to support the titanium root and provide a solid foundation for your new teeth. If you do not have enough bone mass in your jaw, your implant dentist can suggest solutions that will allow you to have implants successfully placed.
Why am I Lacking in Bone Density?
The most common reason for insufficient bone density is long-term denture wear. If a tooth is missing, the root is no longer present to help stimulate growth in the jawbone. Because dentures sit on the surface of the gum tissue, they do not help the jawbone continue to regenerate. This leads to atrophy in the jawbone.
If you do not wear dentures, but have had a tooth or teeth missing for some time, the same phenomenon can occur. There is no root in that area to keep the jawbone growing normally. Therefore, if you choose dental implants, you might need additional treatment to ensure success.
Solutions for Lack of Bone Density
If you have insufficient bone density in your jaw, there are several options that will allow you to have a successful dental implant procedure. Your implant dentist or periodontist can make recommendations about what approach will be best for you.
Options for preparing your jawbone for implants include:
- Bone graft with bone harvested from elsewhere in your body
- Bone graft with cadaver bone
- Implants placed to take advantage of the strongest areas of your jaw
- Grafting with artificial materials
If you require a bone graft, your implant procedure will take longer because you will have to wait until the bone graft has healed before the implants can be set into place. In some cases, your prosthetic teeth can be supported on fewer implants. These implants are angled so they are anchored in the strongest areas of your jawbone. This type of procedure generally does not require additional healing time.
For more information on dental implants, contact the office of Dr. Brad Crump today.