Dental implants offer patients a comfortable, natural-feeling replacement for a missing tooth. The implant procedure involves implanting a metal root into the jawbone, which makes jawbone health a major factor in whether you are suited for a dental implant. Cosmetic dentistry specialists do have some techniques for overcoming the jawbone issues so you might not disqualify just for having an issue.
Here are a few of the common jawbone-related issues that can impact your dental implant treatment.
Eroded or Less Dense Jawbone
Healthy, dense jawbone is required for the bone to heal properly around the dental implant root and heal it into place. Eroded or less dense jawbone can happen due to the loss of the natural tooth, which removes vital friction that promotes bone health, or because of an underlying health condition or simple genetics.
Depending on the condition of your jawbone and the cause, your dentist might perform a bone graft to fix the eroded or less dense areas of your jaw. The graft uses donor bone from elsewhere in your mouth or from an external donor to build up the weakened sections. The donor bone is spliced into the existing bone and then allowed to heal so the segments become one piece of solid, strong bone capable of supporting a dental implant root.
Narrow Jawbone Ridge
You can have healthy, dense jawbone but have too narrow of a jawbone ridge to support the dental implant root. The ridge is the curved upper part of the jawbone where the teeth are rooted. Some people naturally have a narrower ridge and it isn't as easy to build up the ridge thickness with a bone graft.
Your dentist might instead recommend subperiosteal dental implants. The subperiosteal implants don't rely on an implant root but rather sit on a metal plate base that tightly straddles the ridge much the way that dentures are molded to closely fit over the jaw. The primary difference is that the implant base sits under the gum tissue, which heals closed to hold the plate in place, while a denture plate sits over the gums.
Sinus Cavity Low in Jawbone
Do you need a dental implant in the upper half of your jaw? The parallel-running sinus cavity could become a problem if you also have some weakened jawbone. The sinus cavity is normally high enough to be out of the way but a lack of bone support can allow the sinus to drop down directly into the path of the implant root. Piercing the cavity with the root would cause a host of health problems so your dentist needs to get it out of the way.
A sinus lift procedure pushes the cavity back up into its higher position and then builds up the bone underneath with a graft to ensure the cavity doesn't drop back into the way. Once the graft heals together, your dentist can start the dental implant process without having to worry about sinus damage.
For more information, contact a business such as Cumberland Periodontal Associate.