Dental implants are a fantastic option to create a beautiful smile and offer the ability for efficient chewing of food. Most consider the life-like appearance a worthy investment in of itself. However, dental implants are actually a long-term value, too. Around 95 percent of dental implant recipients see continued functioning a decade after the implant. If you’re considering this treatment option, the first question you’ll need to know is if you have enough bone space to accommodate an implant. The entire process will hinge on the answer.
Do You Have Enough Bone Space For A Dental Implant?
As mentioned above, dental implants offer an amazing value, natural likeness, and reliability. This is just about as close to what your natural teeth would be as possible.
To get this kind of advanced dental technology, though, it requires a very precise and methodical process. The most critical step will be your dentist ensuring that you have enough bone space to work with for the implant.
For an implant to be considered, you must have enough bone in your jaw. Otherwise, the implant has nothing to support it and can’t be positioned properly.
Why Would I Not Have Enough Space For A Dental Implant?
Not all patients will naturally have enough bone space for the implant. This is often the case when you’ve lost a tooth some time ago and have left the space empty. It happens. You might’ve been weighing your options, saving, or too busy to make it to your dentist for an implant consult.
Whatever the reason for the delay, you must understand that bone is living tissue that doesn’t pause while you decide on an implant. Chewing forces ensure that the bone continues to go through growth cycles. As old cells die and are absorbed by the body, new cells take their place. When a tooth is lost, the related area of bone isn’t stimulated by chewing. In other words, new growth is significantly slower after tooth loss. Bone volume and density in the area decreases little by little in the absence of the tooth.
Eventually, the space no longer accommodates an implant in a way it can look and function adequately. Your dentist will examine your mouth and dental X-rays to determine your bone space.
Do I Have Options If I Don’t Have Enough Bone Space?
Yes. Limited bone volume doesn’t always end your quest for an implant. It will, however, add some additional dental work as a pre-qualification for the implant.
Your dentist will begin by trying to regenerate the bone. This is done with a procedure called grafting. Graft material is inserted into the jawbone around the area you wish to get an implant. It’s a rather simple and painless process that’s typically completed under sedation.
Think of the graft like a framework or scaffolding for which the bone cells can latch onto and grow. Your dentist will give the graft a couple of months to do its job. He/she will examine the area to determine if enough bone regeneration has occurred to successfully support the implant. If so, you’re good to go.
In some cases, the bone loss is just too vast for a simple graft. Other forms of grafting restoration may be available to build up the bone around the blank space of your missing tooth.
Call Us Today To Determine If You Qualify For A Dental Implant
Replacing lost teeth can help you feel better about your appearance and more easily chew your food. We are here to answer all your implant questions and determine if the bone around your missing tooth will hold an restoration implant. Contact Houston Dentists at Post Oak to today to learn more or schedule your initial consultation appointment today.