Dental implants are a permanent, natural-looking replacement for missing teeth. Implants include an artificial root that bonds to the bone. For these roots to successfully bond to the jaw, a patient requires sufficient bone mass to support them. Some patients lack sufficient bone mass, and many have bone graft dental surgery to support their implants.
Why is Bone Mass Important?
Dental implants are different from dentures in that they provide a root portion to anchor the biting and chewing portions of your new teeth. These roots are placed directly in the jawbone. They are made of titanium, which naturally bonds to bone tissue through a process called osseointegration. When the roots have bonded to the jawbone, they help stimulate the bone tissue, which prevents it from atrophying over time.
People who have worn dentures for a period of time, or who have been missing teeth for a long time, often experience this atrophy in the jawbone. Often there is not enough bone remaining to ensure a successful implant procedure. In cases like this, bone grafts can be used to prepare you for dental implants.
Bone grafts can be achieved in a number of ways. One way is to transplant bone from another part of your body and place it in the desired location. The transplanted tissue will integrate with the bone in the jaw, creating a strong foundation for your implants.
Grafts can also be performed with cadaver bone tissue, but there is a greater chance the grafting may fail. Other techniques can stimulate bone growth either to produce new tissue or to support a grafting procedure. After a graft is placed, it must be allowed to heal. Depending upon the type of graft, this can take a few weeks to several months. In some cases, several grafts must be placed, requiring a longer healing interval.
These advances in dental surgery make it possible for a wider range of candidates to experience successful implant procedures.
To find out if you are a good candidate for dental implants, contact the office of Dr. Chris Tye, serving Southlake and neighboring areas, today to schedule a consultation.