How Implants Prevent Bone Loss
Dentists do whatever they can to preserve, protect, and repair teeth so that chewing function and bone structure can be kept throughout a patient’s life. However, there are times when a tooth becomes too fragile to be restored and the tooth must be extracted. When a tooth is lost for whatever reason, the jawbone becomes compromised. The tooth socket is empty and there is often not enough bone to support placing an immediate dental implant. Without teeth in our mouth to support and strengthen our jaw, our jawbone begins to shrink, weaken, and deteriorate.
The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research reports that a minimum of 10% of those living in the United States, ages 50-64, have no teeth. While conventional complete dentures are the most common restoration for these patients, without sufficient bone, wearing dentures becomes uncomfortable and inconvenient. To better restore these patients with pleasing smiles and the ability to chew comfortably, dental implants are needed to attach a permanent prosthesis to the area. As their bone has continued to recede over the years, bone grafting is often needed to support the necessary implants. Give us a call to see if you are in need of bone grafting at Summerbrook Dental Group.
Bone Grafting Concept
Bone grafting involves replacing the missing bone with either the patient’s own bone or, more commonly, synthetic bone grafting materials. These bone grafting procedures can take various forms. The simplest form is the tooth socket graft. This graft is performed at the time of tooth extraction and consists of the placement of bone grafting materials directly in the space previously occupied by the tooth. A protective membrane is placed, and the gums are sutured in place over the graft. The site is then left to heal for four to six months. Once the dentist has determined that the tooth socket is completely filled with bone, a single tooth implant can be placed and then covered with a permanent crown.
A sinus lift is another procedure we can perform. If you are getting dental implants, we may recommend a sinus lift for several reasons. After examining your oral health, it may be determined that you do not have enough bone height in the upper jaw to secure the implants. Your maxillary sinuses may also be too close to the jaw, which may interfere with the dental implants being secured. The most common reason we recommend a sinus lift for patients is when we determine there is insufficient bone due to loss in the gum. This bone loss can be due to multiple factors, including reabsorption of your bone due to tooth loss, periodontitis (commonly referred to as gum disease), excessive tooth decay, or excessive upper jaw tooth loss. If it is determined you will require a bone graft, a dental implant cannot be performed until after the sinus lift is completed.
After an assessment is made, your surgery will be scheduled and set. Our team of surgeons will cut the gum tissue in the back of your mouth, raise it, and expose the bone underneath. A small hole is cut into the bone, where it is lifted into the sinus cavity and replaced by the bone graft. The incision is then closed, typically with sutures.
Come See Us!
If you have been without teeth for a long time, we can assess your bone loss issues. Bone loss does not mean you cannot get dental implants, it simply means you may need one or two procedures, such as a bone graft or sinus lift, beforehand, to help strengthen your jawbone in order to support the implants. Come in and talk with us today at Summerbrook Dental Group to begin your smile repair journey. We are also available by phone at 720-882-9988. We can help replace your missing teeth with single tooth implants, multiple tooth implants, the All-on-4® Treatment Concept, implant supported dentures, mini dental implants, and other types of permanent dentures. Schedule a consultation and we will see which tooth restoration option best suits your needs.