Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is one of the sleep disorders treated by a sleep dentist. This condition causes the patient to stop breathing periodically during the night due to physical inhibitions in the air passages. To diagnose the condition, the sleep dentist will evaluate the signs and symptoms and conduct tests and examinations. This article…
Are Dental Implants Possible After Bone Loss?
If you are looking to replace missing teeth with something more permanent than dentures, dental implants are an excellent option. Still, some of our patients worry that they will not be able to receive implants because they have lost too much bone density. To find out whether you qualify, we encourage you to call and schedule an examination. In the meantime, it helps to understand more about the process.
How We Place Dental Implants
Implants are the most durable and functional way to replace missing teeth because you get more than a new tooth. You also get a new root system. The process works by implanting a small titanium post under the gums and securing it to the jawbone. Through the process of osseointegration, the post and bone fuse together. The body essentially deposits bone around the post until it is secure. This is unique to titanium since the body treats it as natural matter. While it takes time for this process to be completed, your new tooth will be attached to an implant that will provide the same level of security and durability that your natural teeth receive from their roots.
Implants After Bone Loss
When you first lose a tooth, you are going to suffer something called resorption. Every part of your body has a special role to play, and there are various signals that alert the brain that it is doing so. In the case of your jaw, the stimulation provided by your teeth signifies that the jaw is doing its job of supporting them. Without a tooth or teeth, the stimulation goes away and the body responds by leaching calcium out of the jawbone for use elsewhere in the body. As a result, you will lose some bone density. In fact, within the first year, you could lose around 25 percent of your bone density in that specific area. The best way to avoid this is to replace your tooth right away.
If you have already suffered from the loss of bone density, you may be unable to receive a traditional dental implant without further assistance. There are certain procedures we can perform that can help restore your jawbone. If that is not an ideal solution, mini-dental implants are also available. These implants are also strong and durable, but they are shorter and are more flexible in regards to the density levels required for stability. Many of our patients consider options like this, as well as a hybrid procedure, where a set of teeth is created and attached to a gum-like base that is then secured in the mouth using several dental implants. Instead of replacing each individual tooth, this solution only requires a few implants for stability. Given the diversity of the options we offer, it is certainly possible to replace your teeth using some form of dental implants, even if you have suffered from resorption.
To find out which solutions will work best for your particular situation, call our office and schedule a consultation. We can examine you, take x-rays, discuss your goals, and make recommendations that will best suit your lifestyle.