The Importance of your Jawbone for Implant Success
Dental implants are an incredible method of restoring lost teeth, improving overall health and quality of life. They are also very effective at preventing bone loss. But for the treatment to work properly, you need to have sufficient bone mass in which to embed them. If you don’t have enough bone, we can help.
Dental Implants and Osseointegration
Dental implants are made from a metal post, a ceramic crown, and an abutment connecting them. The post is made of a biocompatible metal, usually titanium, which will respond favorably with the human body. After the posts are placed in the jaw bone via surgery, the bone will slowly fuse with the posts as you heal.
Soon the posts will grow with your jawbone, stimulating just like your tooth roots once did. This is a process known as osseointegration, and it must occur smoothly to keep your new teeth in place.
Tooth Loss and Bone Loss
Most people don’t understand how important teeth are in preserving the vitality of your jaw bone. Your jaw bone is stimulated every time you bite or chew, and this stimulation signals to the body that nutrients are needed in the jaw and the adjacent areas.
If you lose teeth, your jaw bone loses this stimulation. As a result, your jaw receives fewer nutrients, and the bone starts to shrink and become deformed. Healthy adjacent teeth will begin shifting out of position, misaligning your bite. This can create areas that are hard to brush, where bacteria and plaque can form more easily and cause cavities, tooth decay, and gum disease.
You can also experience bruxism (tooth grinding) or TMJ disorder. If the shape of your jaw bone changes, it can affect the shape of your face, causing wrinkles and sagging.
When Jaw Bone is Lacking
The jaw bone can’t fuse to the implant if you don’t have enough bone mass. If this is the case, your implants can loosen, wobble, and even come out. But this doesn’t mean you are ineligible for dental implants.
One option is to have a bone graft, which is a procedure where Dr. Jay P. Malmquist takes bone mass from another part of your body, from a donor or even an animal and transplants it to the area of the jaw that needs it. The graft will fuse to the existing bone as you heal, stimulating bone growth.
If you have lost an entire row of teeth and don’t have enough bone mass, you could skip the bone graft if you want. With All-on-4, we can replace an entire arch of teeth with only four posts (as opposed to six or eight). We place these posts in strategic positions to guarantee osseointegration and maximize contact between the posts and the bone.
In conclusion and to sum up, dental implants are an excellent solution for tooth loss and rejuvenate your jaw bone at the same time. They require adequate bone mass for success, but patients who don’t have enough can still receive them.
For more information or to schedule a consultation, please call (503) 446-6776.
Address:1750 SW Harbor Way, Suite # 100, Portland, OR. 97201