Dental implants are the only natural-looking, permanent solution for missing teeth. For most patients who suffer from tooth loss, implants are the first option that their dentist recommends.
However, in order for implant treatment to be successful, the patient needs to have a strong, dense jawbone and healthy gums. Thankfully, many dentists offer supplemental procedures to help you qualify for implants.
Explore our guide to learn about three common supplemental treatments.
Since dental implants are placed directly in your jaw, they require plenty of jawbone mass. This can be a problem if you’ve been living with missing teeth for a long time, as you’ve likely suffered from jawbone deterioration.
When you lose a tooth, the connected portion of your jawbone no longer receives any stimulation. This leads to a loss of bone mass that will continue to grow in severity if not treated. If you choose to wear dentures or live with gaps in your smile, your jawbone mass will continue to decrease to the point where you won’t be able to receive dental implants.
That’s where bone grafting comes in. This procedure involves taking healthy bone tissue from another part of your body, or from a donor source, and grafting it to the deficient areas of your jawbone. After a short recovery period, your jaw will absorb the new tissue and you’ll be ready for implant placement.
If you’re interested in dental implants and suffer from jawbone deterioration, visit a dentist who performs bone grafts like Dr. Sheldon Sullivan in Gilbert, AZ. With over 20 years of experience, he can help you become an ideal candidate for implants.
Soft Tissue Augmentation
Another obstacle to receiving dental implants is periodontal disease — more commonly known as gum disease. Gum disease is a widespread problem, affecting half of adults who are 30 and older. It’s most frequently caused by poor oral hygiene habits, such as not brushing your teeth twice a day or neglecting to visit your dentist for regular checkups.
Once they integrate with your jawbone, dental implants are closely connected to your gum tissue. If the gum tissue around your implant is infected, this can lead to a condition called peri-implantitis and result in the failure of your treatment.
That’s why it’s crucial to have healthy gums before your implants are placed. If you suffer from gum recession, visit a dentist who offers soft tissue augmentation such as Dr. Kenny Abedini in Long Beach, CA. As a Fellow of the International Congress of Oral Implantologists, he can ensure your comfort and safety during the procedure.
The upper back jaw is probably the most difficult area of your mouth to place implants. When you suffer from bone loss in this area, it often increases the size of your sinus cavity. This leaves insufficient bone tissue to support an implant.
In cases like these, a sinus lift can help you qualify for implants. An alternate form of bone grafting, this treatment increases the bone mass in your upper jaw. It’s called a sinus lift because the bone is added between your maxillary sinuses, which are on either side of your nose.
If you lack bone mass in your upper jaw, find a dentist who performs sinus lifts like Dr. John Poovey in Grand Junction, CO. He’s been recognized as a Master by the American Academy of Implant Prosthodontics, so you can feel confident entrusting him with your smile.
Become a Dental Implant Candidate With Supplemental Treatments
If you’ve been told that you’re not a candidate for dental implants, don’t give up just yet. For most patients, one or more supplemental procedures will restore their oral health and allow them to qualify for implants.
Look for an experienced implant dentist near you and ask them about supplemental treatments. Before you know it, you can enjoy all the benefits of a healthy and beautiful smile.