Will Dental Implants Stop Bone Loss?
- February 13, 2023
- Posted by: seo.content
- Category: Dental Implant Information
Will Dental Implants Stop Bone Loss: Dental implants are small metallic screws or threaded posts that can replace the roots of missing teeth. Mostly, they are made of titanium but some are even made of zirconium- both being biocompatible materials. The implants are inserted into the jawbone to provide strong support to the prosthetic tooth or teeth like crowns, bridges, or dentures. They are a gold-standard dental restoration solution.
Who Can Get Dental Implants?
Dental implants can help replace one or more missing teeth, and even restore the beautiful smile of a toothless patient. Usually, people have implants when they experience tooth loss caused by cavities, periodontal disease, bruxism/teeth clenching or grinding, fracture tooth roots, facial injury, or congenitally missing teeth. Tooth loss patients who have sufficient healthy jawbone density and healthy gums to place implants as well as minimal bruxism are suitable candidates for dental implant surgery. These candidates must not be active smokers and be committed to following good oral hygiene and maintaining their oral health.
Do Dental Implants Prevent Bone Loss?
A strong and healthy jawbone is possible only when there is stimulation caused by biting and chewing forces of the tooth and transmitted by the tooth’s roots into the jawbone. However, with the loss of natural tooth results, its roots are also gone. Thus, there is no longer stimulation of the jawbone to remain healthy. In turn, this leads to jawbone resorption over time. The jawbone gradually weakens and deteriorates. But, the good news is this jaw bone loss can be prevented by only one dental restoration option- dental implants. If the lost tooth is not replaced by a dental implant within a year of losing it, there could be a loss of about 25% of the jawbone mass.
Dental implants help preserve the jawbone because they act as fake roots of the teeth. They are surgically placed into the hole created in the jawbone, underneath the gums. The surgical site is left to heal for a few months. At this time, osseointegration- the permanent bonding of the implant with the jawbone, takes place. Once healing is over (usually within 3-6 months), the implant effectively becomes the natural part of the mouth and is ready to stimulate the jawbone by the transmission of the everyday chewing and biting forces into the jawbone. This way further jawbone deterioration is prevented, and actually, the jawbone gets strengthened. Furthermore, no worries about jawbone resorption mean there is no chance of collapsing of the lower facial structure caused by a weakening of the jawbone.
What Can be Done if there is not Enough Healthy Jawbone to Place the Implants?
The placement of the traditional implant is only successful if there is sufficient healthy jawbone density at the site of the missing tooth. In cases where the patients do not have enough healthy jawbone mass, they can only go ahead with implant surgery by first undergoing a preparatory dental procedure called bone grafting.
Jawbone grafting is a surgical procedure carried out by an oral surgeon to add volume and density to the jaw in areas where bone loss has happened. In this surgery, the surgeon removes a small portion of healthy bone to transplant into the site of the missing tooth to provide the implant with a solid foundation to fuse with and remain secure inside the mouth.
Different Types of Dental Bone Grafts
The different type of bone graft options, based on their materials include:
- Autograft– It is the bone or tissue that is taken from one body site and transplanted into the jawbone. Usually, the bone graft material is taken from another site in the upper or lower jaw of the patient. Such bone grafts hold no potential for disease transmission or immune reactions, have been proven to be highly successful, and may heal small or large defects by themselves as their own bone-forming cells are transferred to heal the defects.
- Alloplast- It is a non-human material used in the body as a bone graft in some cases. It is readily available.
- Xenograft- For some patients, the surgeon may purchase dental bone grafts from an animal tissue bank. The animal-derived bone graft is called Xenograft.
- Allograft- The human-sourced bone graft material which is either purchased from a human tissue bank or generously donated by the family of a deceased family member to help another person is called allograft.
All types of bone grafts are commonly used in surgery and have been well-documented with success. However, alloplasts, xenografts, and allografts cannot stimulate the body’s cells for bone formation. After having such bone grafts, portions of them may turn into the own bone of the patient while some may remain in the body for years to come.
Based on their purposes, dental bone grafts could be of four main types:
- Socket preservation- Here, the bone graft is placed into the empty tooth socket, immediately after the severely damaged/decayed natural tooth is extracted. It helps prevent the socket sides from caving in.
- Ridge augmentation- In case the tooth has been missing for a while, the supporting jawbone can thin out. Ridge augmentation can help increase the width and volume of the existing jawbone so that it can provide a stable base for fixing the implant.
- Sinus lift- When upper back teeth are missing, the sinuses lying just above it may hang down and take up the space which was once occupied by the roots of the teeth. In such cases, the surgeon repositions the sinus and underneath it a dental bone graft is placed, thereby creating a stable foundation for the implant.
- Periodontal bone graft- Periodontal disease can erode the jawbone which used to support the teeth, hence making them loose. This graft can be placed around the existing tooth to prevent its shifting and provide additional support.
How Does Dental Bone Graft Work?
In a dental bone graft surgery, the surgeon first numbs the area with a local anesthetic. Next, a small gum incision is created and the gum tissues are slightly moved back to get access to the underlying jawbone. The area is cleaned and disinfected and finally, the bone grafting material is added to repair the defect. For most patients, the bone graft is covered with a protective thin membrane. Finally, the gum tissue is repositioned over the dental bone graft and the incision is closed with sutures.
Once the dental bone graft is secure in its place, it acts as a scaffold on which self-body tissues can grow and own tissue regeneration can take place.
So, Are you looking forward to getting top-quality dental implants?
Book an appointment with the best implant specialists at EON Clinics in Chicago, Illinois, and enjoy the benefits of implants! We welcome all patients suffering from tooth loss with or without healthy jawbone mass. We have all kinds of dental bone grafts to cater to your needs and conditions.