Do I Have Enough Jawbone For Dental Implants?
Our dentist here at Brea Implant and Cosmetic Dentistry makes it his mission to provide you with access to the most revolutionary and helpful treatments to get you an excellent result when receiving a dental implant - be it traditional dental implants, a dental implant to bridge, or implant supported dentures. To receive a dental implant of any kind, one must have enough jawbone density to support it.
The Effects of Bone Loss
Bone loss occurs very quickly. Within just one year of a missing tooth, you can experience 25% jawbone loss. That is why if you are missing any teeth, it is important to replace those missing teeth as soon as possible. Jawbone loss results in a weaker bite, changes to your facial structure, and unwanted movement of your other teeth. This can cause tooth gaps and encourage the development of gum disease. The problems begin to snowball very quickly.
How Much Jawbone Do I Need for Dental Implants?
In order to place dental implants, a patient needs at least 1mm of dense jawbone for the implant to be inserted into. Mini dental implants, which are smaller than traditional dental implants, require about half the amount of jawbone needed.
It is unwise and unsafe to place dental implants into a weakened or small jawbone, as the likelihood of dental implant failure occurring is greater.
What Are My Alternatives if I Do Not Have Enough Jawbone for Dental Implants?
A ridge augmentation procedure is for the restoration of your jawbone and gumline and will provide added stability to an implant as well as a very pleasing and symmetrical appearance.
The area that is restored with this procedure is known as the alveolar ridge, and it plays an important role in providing your implant with stability.
A ridge augmentation procedure entails bolstering any lost jawbone and gum tissue that may have been lost during tooth extraction or a tooth loss. The primary feature of this method is the use of a bone graft to fill any gaps that may be left after extraction. After the graft is put in place, the surrounding gum tissue is then sutured together above the graft, often with a retainer made out of well-tolerated materials that can aid in bone development.
To get excellent and seamless results, ridge augmentation is sometimes performed directly after an extraction, as this measure prevents any necessity for future surgeries or bone grafts to restore lost tissues. Typically, a local anesthetic is all that is required to perform this procedure but be sure to speak directly with our dentist to learn about potential treatment methods and gain further clarification about the methods of this helpful procedure.
A ridge augmentation must be given enough time to heal before a permanent dental implant can be put in place, and your healing time may vary depending on your overall health. As with other procedures, be sure to speak with our dentist about possible conditions that may make this procedure not desirable for you, like a recent radiation treatment on the jaw, or advanced diabetes. Our team makes your safety their priority and will need to properly evaluate you to determine whether or not this will be a good choice.
Bone grafting is typically recommended for potential dental implant patients as a way to increase mass in the jaw to increase implant stability. If you have lost teeth in the upper jaw, you may have been recommended a sinus lift. Brea Implant & Cosmetic Dentistry can perform this procedure, which increases bone mass and strength in your upper jaw with the use of a bone graft.
Your jawbone is no longer the same following tooth loss, no matter if the teeth have fallen out due to trauma or gum disease, or they have been extracted. Once the teeth are gone, the bone loses stimulation, and the body begins to think that it is no longer necessary. This results in fewer nutrients going to that area of the bone, causing it to resorb. In the upper jaw, this does not just affect the jawbone, it can also impact the sinus cavities.
As the bone resorbs and the sinus cavities expand, the space between the jaw and these cavities thins. Because of this, it becomes more difficult to place dental implants. There may not be enough bone to support the posts. Additionally, with insufficient bone, the posts may accidentally break into the sinus cavities. Should this happen, you may be at risk for suffering chronic sinus infections.
Not everyone who loses teeth in the upper jaw, particularly around the premolar and molar region, necessarily needs a sinus lift. If you have recently lost your teeth and still have sufficient bone mass remaining, it is entirely possible to place dental implants simply. However, if you have lost significant bone mass, you have lost bone mass as a result of gum disease, you have large sinus cavities, or your sinus cavities are too close to the jawbone, a sinus lift may be suggested.
A sinus lift is a surgery that also involves the use of a bone graft to improve the bone mass in the upper jaw and protect the sinus cavities during dental implants. After exposing the bone, we make an opening in the jawbone. The floors of your sinus cavities are gently pushed upward. Bone grafting material is then packed into the space underneath. Once complete, your gums are sutured closed, and you will be able to begin the recovery process.
Will I Get My Implants Right Away?
Implants are not placed right after a ridge augmentation or sinus lift. First, your jawbone needs to heal and regain its strength. This can take several months to complete. This gives your jawbone the time it needs to heal properly, increasing the chances that any implants placed in that region will be successful. After your surgery, you will need to have several follow up appointments so that we can closely monitor your healing. Once you have healed sufficiently, we can then schedule you for dental implant surgery.
At Brea Implant & Cosmetic Dentistry we want to ensure that you have adequate information about any dental procedure you may be considering. Feel free to contact us at (657) 341-0808 to set up an appointment so you can meet with our team in person and get any questions you may have answered. Call us and start on the path to a better smile today.