Do I Have Enough Jawbone For Dental Implants
Every dental implant procedure requires the patient to have a sufficient amount of jawbone. However, as is common with most cases of missing teeth, the patient undergoes a high degree of bone resorption. This is a process in which the body reabsorbs the bone tissue. The longer a person waits to have their missing tooth filled in, the greater the bone loss.
Oral surgeons like Dr. Lasnoski and Dr. Hallas may ask you to undergo several x-rays and other examinations to create a 3D image of your mouth. This will reveal a panoramic picture of your upper and lower jaw, the positioning of the nerves and sinuses, as well as the overall density of the bone.
If the dentist determines that you have enough bone mass to support the dental implant, you may be able to proceed with the procedure without incident.
But if it’s found that you don’t have enough bone mass, you may be asked to undergo a surgical procedure known as a bone graft. As the name sounds, a bone graft is when the oral surgeon attempts to replace the missing bone so that it can provide adequate support to a dental implant.
In some cases, if the patient isn’t comfortable with the idea of a bone graft, they may instead be given mini dental implants. Compared to regular sized implants, mini dental implants are no thicker than a toothpick and are often used to support smaller teeth. The surgical site for mini dental implants often heals at a much faster rate and is less discomforting, meaning that the patient can resume normal activities within just a few months after the procedure. The downside of mini implants is that you must be careful when applying chewing forces. Chewing too hard on your food could displace the mini dental implant. This may require an urgent visit to the dentist, where emergency surgery is performed to remove the implant and insert a new one.
For obvious reasons, replacing a mini dental implant, after you’ve already gone through the implant procedure in the past can be a challenging experience. This is why we recommend using regular-sized dental implants because they are much more stable and last a lot longer. Regular dental implants closely mimic both the appearance and function of regular teeth.
Dental implants mimic all the functions of real teeth. They transmit similar chewing forces and an appreciably high level of biting force that stimulates more jawbone growth and prevents further loss of bone tissue.
At this stage, bone resorption is no longer a problem for you. This means you won’t have to worry about dramatic changes to your facial appearance or difficulty chewing. The new implant will stimulate your jaw just like a real tooth does, preventing further loss of bone. You will have to wait a few months for the surgical site to heal in a process known as osseointegration. It’s when the dental implant fuses with the surrounding bone, becoming attached to your mouth. For more information on dental implants, consider making an appointment at Bay Lakes Center for Complex Dentistry by calling (906) 212-4725.