Do I Have Enough Jawbone for Dental Implants?
Tooth loss is an issue that affects every aspect of your life. It makes basic tasks like eating and speaking very difficult. The quality of your smile can suffer significantly, which can lead to self-consciousness. Tooth loss also affects the health of your jawbone, causing bone loss. Dental implants are a popular treatment for replacing missing teeth that can put a stop to this bone loss. However, for treatment to be successful, you need to have enough bone mass remaining. If you do not have enough bone mass, Arrowhead Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery can help.
Replacing Teeth with Dental Implants
Dental implants are a treatment used to replace missing teeth. This treatment uses posts, made from titanium, which is surgically placed into your jawbone. Your bone gradually fuses to the posts as you heal from surgery. This is a natural process called osseointegration. With successful osseointegration, your implant posts become stable replacement roots that can hold your new teeth securely in place.
Tooth Loss and the Loss of Bone Mass
Your teeth play a crucial role in the health of your jawbone. Every time that you chew, your teeth stimulate the bone. This stimulation tells your body to send nutrients to the jawbone and surrounding areas. Following tooth loss, your jawbone loses the stimulation from those teeth. With this loss of stimulation, your body begins sending fewer nutrients. Because of this, your bone begins to weaken. As this happens, your bone begins to change shape.
Healthy teeth around the affected area begin to shift out of alignment, which can alter your bite. This can lead to issues such as an increased risk for cavities, gum disease, and tooth damage. You may also be faced with bruxism or TMJ disorder. Changes in the shape of your jawbone can also impact your facial shape, which can affect your facial appearance, causing sagging skin and the formation of wrinkles.
The Importance of Your Jawbone for Dental Implants
Implants are an incredible treatment that helps to stop and prevent bone loss in your jaw. However, for treatment to be successful, you first need to have enough bone mass remaining. Following the placement of implant posts, osseointegration occurs. This process is the fusion of your bone to the posts and is essential for the stability and success of your treatment.
What I Do Not have Enough Jawbone?
Without enough bone mass, your jawbone cannot fuse properly. This results in loose, wobbly implants and implant failure. Just because your jawbone is too weak, this does not mean that implants are impossible. One option is to undergo a bone graft procedure. This is a surgical procedure that involves taking bone mass from another area of your body, or from a donor, and transplanting it to the affected areas of your jaw. As you heal, your existing bone fuses to the bone graft material. With the strength of your bone restored, the success of implants is increased.
If you are missing an entire arch of teeth, and have lost too much bone mass, you may be able to receive implants without a bone graft. The All on 4 treatment concept uses only 4 implant posts, rather than 6 to 8 posts. These posts are placed in your jaw strategically to maximize contact between posts and bone and ensure optimal osseointegration.
Dental implants are a popular treatment for replacing missing teeth that provide many different benefits, including putting a stop to bone loss in your jaw. If you do not have enough bone mass to support the implant posts, however, a bone graft can help. For more information, and to schedule your consultation, call Arrowhead Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at (623) 412-0310 today.