Dental implants are a highly effective and permanent solution to replace missing teeth. Whether you need one tooth or an entire mouth full, implants are the most natural-feeling option.
Dental implants are completed in phases. First, your dentist will determine if you have sufficient bone in your jaw to implant the device. If so, your dentist will place the implant which acts as a new root for the crown, bridge, or denture that will eventually be placed on top of it. The implant needs several months to heal before the dental prosthetic is added.
If your dentist determines that you do not have sufficient jaw bone to place the implant, they will need to perform a bone graft prior to placing the device. Patients sometimes do not have enough bone when they have gone too long without their own teeth, as the bone begins to deteriorate without the tooth in place to support it. A lack of bone structure may also be caused by injury, gum disease, or defects in the tooth development.
Bone grafts essentially add to or build up the jaw bone in the location of the mouth where dentist has planned the implant. The bone graft is made using your own bone from another location in your body, usually from the chin. Grafts can also be made using animal or synthetic materials. Your dentist will decide which material is best suited for your situation.
If the implant is planned for your upper back teeth, you may need a sinus lift which adds bone just under the sinus cavity to support the implants.
Once the bone grafting is done, the tissue will need time to heal and fuse together to create a strong foundation for the placement of the implant. However, the procedure must be done before the bone graft begins to be reabsorbed back into the body. Once your bone graft is completed and healed, your dentist can move forward with your dental implant procedure.
It's important to consult with a dentist who specializes in implant dentistry. Dr. Mark Makela of Petoskey, MI offers a complete line of dental implants from single tooth replacement to full upper and lower implanted-supported dentures. If you are considering dental implants as a permanent solution to replace one or more teeth, contact your dentist today to discuss your desires.