Dental implants are versatile and can be used in a variety of scenarios, including single tooth replacement and implant-supported dentures. Furthermore, dental implants hold a number of advantages over other tooth replacement alternatives.
Understandably, an increasing number of patients are opting for these devices to replace missing teeth.
An implant dentist performs an outpatient surgery to place implants in the jawbone. In the months following that procedure, the implant, which is made of titanium, fuses with the bone. The biocompatibility of the titanium gives the implants stability and durability that so many patients find appealing.
Patients often come to us with concerns about whether they will qualify for this procedure, which does have some physical requirements. In order for the osseointegration process to succeed, the patient must have a sufficient amount of bone to support the implants.
Jawbone loss occurs when a tooth’s root is no longer present to serve as an anchor, and when too much bone has worn away, the implant may be more likely to fail.
As a result, some patients may require a bone graft prior to dental implant placement. If such a procedure is necessary, the implant dentist will take bone from elsewhere in the body and place it at the implant site. If the site is at the rear of the jaw, the dentist may use a sinus augmentation, in which the sinus floor is raised and bone inserted into the resulting space, to supplement the bone in the area.
In an ideal situation, patients would pursue this procedure as soon as possible following tooth loss, to limit the jawbone erosion that will occur. Nonetheless, dental implants are still an option for patients with bone loss who want to improve on a previous tooth replacement, such as a bridge or dentures.
Very few patients are completely ruled out as candidates, although some may need to undergo preliminary procedures first. If you are interested in a smile makeover, chances are good that your dentist can find a way to make it happen.
To find out if implants are right for you, contact our Dallas office today to schedule your professional consultation.