July 16, 2019
Have you recently found out that your ineligible for dental implants because your bone isn’t strong enough? This is a common reason many patients cannot receive this tooth replacement option, but it doesn’t have to result in settling for another solution. Thankfully, more dentists are offering various procedures to help patients reserve and/or regrow their jawbone, results in successful dental implant support. Find out more about these unique procedures and how you can still achieve a healthier, fully functioning smile.
The Reasons Behind a Weak Jawbone
If you’ve been told your jawbone is too weak to pursue restorative treatment, it could be because of genetics, lifestyle habits, or health-related conditions. To better understand how a jawbone can become weak over time, here are just a few of the many reasons:
- A missing tooth is left untreated, and there is no root to keep the jawbone stimulated
- You develop periodontal disease and the infection spreads to the bone
- You experience a sinus deficiency and once molars are removed from the upper jaw, sinuses can become enlarged and bone can deteriorate
- Development deformities can result in missing teeth or problems in the formation of the jawbone
3 Ways to Achieve Dental Implant Support
The reality for many patients is that dental implants are not an option without other forms of surgery. The jawbone’s ability to serve a solid foundation is crucial to preventing dental implant failure. To achieve this type of stability, your dentist might suggest any of the following procedures depending on your individual needs:
A bone graft consists of using extra bone minerals and placing them in the area needing additional support. Traditionally, a piece of bone can be removed from another area of your body and placed into the jawbone; however, there are alternatives to retrieving bone minerals, such as the use of a cadaver or animal source.
Once the bone minerals are placed, it will take several months to heal. The transplanted bone material must successfully grow enough new bone to support a dental implant.
If the problem exists in the upper jaw area, you will most likely have what is known as a sinus lift. If you have molars or premolars that are missing or removed, it can result in there being very little bone left behind.
To perform a sinus lift, there is an area between your jaw and maxillary sinuses where the bone will be added (typically, on either side of your nose). To make room for the new bone, your dentist will move or “lift” the sinus membrane. Adding bone to the area will allow it to grow into the floor of your sinuses. Patients can expect a similar healing time with a sinus lift just as they would with a bone graft (3-6 months).
If you’ve had a tooth removed, you might notice that your gums and jaw look a bit different. This is because the empty socket can cause a ridge in the alveolar bone. Should it accidentally break, deterioration will begin, and dental implant placement will be impossible. However, if your dentist offers ridge augmentation, they can rebuild the alveolar bone by placing similar bone material in the socket and use the gum tissue to seal the area before it is sutured.
Any of the above-mentioned procedures can result in a new and improved smile. Yes, it will take longer to achieve desired results, but the smile you will carry for the rest of your life will be well worth the wait.
About the Author
Dr. Christopher Pollard graduated from Texas A&M University with a bachelor’s degree in biology before going on to obtain a DDS degree from Baylor College of Dentistry. Combining his passion for science and a desire to help others, he pursued a career in dentistry and has since worked to complete hundreds of hours of continuing education courses. In fact, he finished a 10-month, 320 hours, dental implant maxi-course with the Medical College of Georgia’s Dental School and passed the certification exam given by the American Academy of Implant Dentistry.
Dr. Pollard and the team at Dental Renaissance work to restore smiles and increase confidence with various methods of treatment, including dental implants. To learn more, contact us via our website or by calling (972) 423-0880.
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