As adults, losing teeth can be a serious ordeal. With dental implants, we can assuage this ordeal and restore your oral functions as well as your confident smile. Although, a successful dental implant procedure requires that your body be able to accept and integrate with the implant. This is why osseointegration is an important part of the dental implant placement procedure and in the success of the dental implant.
What is Osseointegration?
Osseointegration is a vital process that is required for the successful placement of dental implants. The word “osseo'' means bone, while “integration” means to add to or combine with. Therefore, osseointegration is the ability of our jawbone to combine with a dental implant.
The dental implant is a small and lightweight titanium post that we surgically place in the jawbone of a patient who requires an implant tooth. This titanium is a material that is compatible with the human body. Once it is placed in the jawbone, osseointegration begins. The jawbone begins to grow and bond with the implant post in a healing process. The bone should completely fuse around the implant to hold it securely in place.
Osseointegration is complete when the healing is successful, and the titanium post is said to be a part of the jawbone. The implant post can now receive an abutment and a permanent artificial crown to simulate a complete tooth.
What Can Hinder Osseointegration?
Patients who lack adequate jawbone may find it hard to osseointegrate. In fact, they are usually not considered as candidates for dental implants. When a patient loses a tooth, bone resorption sets in. The jawbone begins to lose its density and alignment gradually. If there is no implant replacement anytime soon, the jawbone loses more density. This makes it hard for osseointegration to take place. Other patients with serious medical illnesses may also have issues with osseointegration. Patients with smoking habits or those who consume alcohol, will have osseointegration issues, increasing risks of dental implant failure.
Ensuring Successful Osseointegration
While osseointegration is a natural reaction of the human body, people with low levels of jawbone mass may be assisted to start that reaction. Through a process called bone grafting, our professionals can harvest natural bone materials from suitable sources to augment the jawbone and raise it to the required level for a dental implant placement. This bone graft provides a firm base for the implant while integrating existing bone to the implant post.
How Long is the Osseointegration Process?
After the placement of the dental implant post, osseointegration can last between two to six months. This healing time is largely dependent on the metabolism of the recipient, as well as where the implant is placed. Lower implants tend to heal much faster than upper jaw implants. You can learn more from us at Summerbrook Dental Group about osseointegration and how it can help with your missing teeth. Just call us at 720-882-9988 today to get more information.