Do I Have Enough Jawbone For Dental Implants
Dental implants need sufficient jawbone mass to replace missing teeth. The implant is drilled into the bone, where it is later attached to an implant post and a prosthesis (usually the crown). For obvious reasons, if the patient doesn’t have enough jawbone density, they would be unable to provide support to the implant.
Without adequate jawbone density, the implant will fail. So how can you tell if you have enough jawbone for dental implants? The only way to know for sure is to visit a professional like Michael J. Wockenfus, DDS at Mid Valley Dental. A useful aid in determining whether you have enough jawbone mass or not is to use x-rays, and other examinations if necessary. Our staff then use their years of experience to decide if the patient has enough jawbone density.
What if I Don’t Have Enough Jawbone?
Not all people will have sufficient jawbone to receive a dental implant, especially if they had a missing tooth for several years. As a rule, the longer a tooth has been missing, the greater the bone loss. The body gets rid of the jawbone once it has determined that it is no longer needed. This can significantly change your facial aesthetics and can be particularly concerning to many patients.
Our dentists, Michael J. Wockenfus, DDS and Dr. Wockenfus, will attempt to regenerate your bone in a procedure known as bone grafting. This is done by placing donor bone material in your jawbone at the surgical site that is to receive an implant. Bone grafting can take several months to heal before it’s ready for an implant. Although it may sound complicated, bone grafts are a surprisingly simple procedure and are very successful.
Types of Bone Grafts
Bone grafts are divided into four types, and if you are going to undergo the procedure, you should know the difference between them. The most popular form of bone grafting is autogenous because the grafting material comes from the patient. This significantly increases the success rate of the bone graft. The donor bone is usually taken from the hip, chin, or other areas of the jaw. The only problem with autogenous bone grafts is that they take longer to heal and are relatively more uncomfortable.
The second type is the use of allograft bone grafts which are taken from deceased donors. The bones first undergo a verification process to ensure they are free of infection or disease. Moreover, this donor bone must be treated to improve patient compatibility and minimize the risk of an autoimmune reaction. Xenografts are a third type of bone graft and are usually harvested from domesticated animals such as pigs and cows. The bone material undergoes heavy processing to improve patient compatibility. An advantage of xenografts is that they can provide a lot of support to the dental implant and eventually get replaced by new bone by the body.
The fourth type is known as alloplastic bone grafts; they are derived from a material called hydroxyapatite. This material is both non-carcinogenic and non-inflammatory, making it safer for patients. These are all options that you should discuss with your dentist. For more information, consider making an appointment at Mid Valley Dental by calling (920) 215-4160.