If you’ve been dealing with missing teeth for years, chances are you’re experiencing some degree of bone loss.
Unfortunately, this could mean you’re not a good candidate to get dental implants, one of the most effective ways of restoring a patient’s smile.
But even with bone loss, many people are still able to get these reconstructions, as long as they can restore their jawbone.
What Causes Bone Loss?
Your missing teeth are the most likely culprit for bone loss, though it can also happen due to trauma or even some medical conditions.
Your adult teeth play a major role in keeping your jawbone healthy. When you chew and put pressure on your teeth, the roots help stimulate the jaw and ensure proper blood flow to it. If a tooth is missing, the area is no longer stimulated and lacks the nutrients it needs to thrive.
Over time, that area of bone starves and starts to wither, leading to less mass and other side effects like sunken facial features.
Why Do Implants Need Healthy Bones?
Dental implants are made of three elements: a metal post, an abutment, and a dental crown.
The metal post is inserted into the jaw and replaces the missing tooth’s root. Unfortunately, if there isn’t enough bone, the dental implant could simply not fit into the tooth socket properly.
Furthermore, if bone mass is lost, it could also mean that your bone might not heal around the implant in a process called osseointegration. Normally, healthy bones will fuse to the implant and keep it firmly in place.
If your jawbone isn’t healthy, it could increase the risk of implant failure.
Can Your Jawbone Be Restored?
Luckily, you may still get dental implants even if you’ve suffered bone loss. For instance, you may be able to get a mini dental implant, which has a much smaller metal post and doesn’t require as much bone mass as traditional implants.
If mini implants aren’t a good solution for you, the jawbone could be restored through a sinus lift or bone graft. Both procedures are designed to heal your bone and restore its mass.
These surgeries come with their own healing timeline, which could be around six months or longer. Still, the wait is often worth it, since it can mean you may be cleared for implant surgery and get a permanent solution for your missing teeth.
Are Dental Implants Right for You? Here’s How to Find Out
Wauwatosa dentist Dr. Shaun McCue can help you discover if dental implants are the right solution for you.
Even if you’re dealing with bone loss, a thorough consultation can reveal your best chances to restore both the health and the look of your smile.
To get started, schedule a dental implant consultation at McCue Dental Health online.
If you have more questions about our services, call us at (414) 456-1091 today.