Dental implants have become the most sought-after teeth replacement option in dentistry today. Because they can support crowns, bridges, or dentures, dental implants offer versatility and unparalleled stability for custom restorations. However, in order to be eligible for dental implants, patients must have plenty of dense, healthy bone.
Our doctors at the Texas Denture Clinic in Fort Worth, TX offer treatments in implant dentistry, including preparatory procedures such as jawbone regeneration. Today, we will explore the importance of healthy bone and discuss dental implants and jawbone regeneration.
What Causes Jawbone Atrophy?
When natural teeth roots are present within the jawbone, they stimulate nerves. This process preserves the existing bone structure. When teeth are lost or removed, the nerves are no longer stimulated. The jawbone then translates this lack of stimulation to mean it is no longer needed. As a result, bone atrophy occurs over time.
This is why individuals who have been missing teeth for a long time may have a gaunt or hollowed appearance. When dental implants are used to replace missing teeth, they actually mimic the natural roots. Therefore, the nerves within the jawbone are stimulated once again, preventing further bone loss in the future.
The Importance of Healthy Bone
When it comes to dental implants, one common hurdle that many patients must overcome is bone loss. Dental implants can actively prevent bone loss from occurring in the future, but what about bone that has already been lost due to years of tooth loss?
In order for dental implants to be successful, they must be completed embedded in dense, healthy jawbone. Although this can be frustrating for patients who have experienced bone atrophy, there is a solution with jawbone regeneration.
Ridge Augmentation for Dental Implants
Patients who are lacking adequate bone structure for dental implants can rebuild their jawbone with ridge augmentation. During this procedure, a bone grafting material is placed to add volume, height, and width to the bony ridge underneath the gums.
This procedure adds a few months to the total treatment timeline, as the bone must heal before implants can be placed. However, because dental implants offer a predictable long-term solution, most patients agree it is well worth the wait.
Sinus Lifts for Dental Implants
If the maxillary molars are lost, the sinus cavity can descend and occupy the space previously inhabited by the roots of the natural teeth. As you can imagine, in this situation, dental implants could not be successfully placed, as they would invade the maxillary sinus. If this occurs, the condition can be corrected with a sinus lift.
During this surgical treatment, the maxillary sinus membrane is gently moved up into its proper location. The void underneath is then filled with a bone grafting substance to regenerate the bone that was lost.
Like ridge augmentation, a sinus lift can take a significant amount of time to fully heal, sometimes up to nine months. However, once the bone has been regenerated, dental implants can be placed.
Contact Our Practice for More Information
Have you previously been told you have too much bone loss for dental implants? With today’s advanced techniques, we can regenerate lost bone and create a healthy foundation for your tooth restorations. To determine your eligibility, schedule a visit at the Texas Denture Clinic. Call us at one of our three office locations or contact us online anytime.