Aesthetic & Comprehensive Dentistry
A successful dental implant procedure relies on the patient having a suitable amount of healthy, good density bone in their jaw. This is because the success of dental implants hinges on a process known as osseointegration. This term refers to the regrowth of bone around the titanium post which has been inserted in a pre-determined location in your jaw via an incision in the gums. This titanium post acts as an anchor for your prosthetic tooth, ensuring that it isn’t dependent on any other teeth for support (as is the case with dental bridges). The implantation process stimulates the production of new bone growth to heal around the post, securing it permanently in place. However, if your jaw bone is not healthy or dense enough, it will not be able to support the dental implant, causing the process to fail.
There is no way of knowing that you will need a bone grafting procedure by just looking at your face. Checking the density and health of your jaw bone is a key part of the consultation that you will have to undergo before you can be approved for an implant procedure. This will be done using x-rays and potentially CT scans of your jaw bone which can tell your dental implant dentist if you have sufficient health bone to support dental implants. These images will also be used to help plan the placement of your implant post so that it does not disrupt any major blood vessels or nerve pathways.
If your jaw bone is found to be lacking in density, your implant specialist may refer you for a procedure known as bone grafting.
Bone grafting is a fairly straightforward procedure in which a section of bone is taken from another area of your body and attached to the bone in your jaw instead. Since bone is a live material and can regenerate, over the course of the next few months, the graft will stimulate the growth of stronger, denser bone that is capable of supporting a dental implant post. Exactly how much bone will need to be grafted on to your jaw will depend on how strong your jaw is to begin with. If you are found to be in need of a bone grafting procedure, this can be discussed with you at your consultation.
In most instances, you will need to wait up to six months after your bone graft before you can have the titanium posts of your dental implants put in place. After they have been inserted, you will then still need to wait several more months while osseointegration takes place before the final porcelain crown, which makes up the visible part of your restoration, is cemented in place. During this time, you will be fitted with a temporary crown which can be easily removed when it is time to secure your permanent, custom-designed version to the successfully integrated implant post.
If you are interested in dental implants but are concerned about the viability of your jaw bone, we would be pleased to assess your teeth and jaw to determine if you are a suitable candidate for the procedure. Our dentist, Dr. Le, has completed advanced training in bone grafting procedures and can make it possible for virtually any patient to receive dental implants. Please contact us jere at Le Smile today to arrange your consultation. We can be reached at 702-448-3527.