Bone loss is a common problem after you’ve lost one or more teeth. Over time, the bone tissue below your missing tooth starts to weaken and break down. Bone loss can also be caused by gum disease and some types of dental trauma.
And if you have lost one or more teeth and have jaw bone loss, you may be wondering if you can still get dental implants in Flagstaff. The answer is “yes!” Even if you’ve experienced some jaw bone loss, you can still get dental implants from Dr. Kevin Chittenden at Cedar Avenue Family Dentistry. Read on for all of the details.
Bone loss affects the dental implant procedure because dental implants must be surgically placed directly into your gum and jaw bone tissue. If your jaw bone is not strong or dense enough to support a dental implant, this dramatically raises the risk of implant failure.
This is one of the reasons why it’s important to get a comprehensive implant consultation, complete with x-ray imaging. With x-rays, Dr. Kevin can dive below the surface, assess your jaw bone health, and determine if you’re suffering from bone loss.
But while jaw bone loss does make the process a little bit more complicated, it won’t stop you from getting dental implants. As long as your mouth is healthy and free of serious oral health issues, you can get a bone graft to restore your missing jaw bone material. Then, once your jaw is strong enough, you can get a dental implant.
In a bone graft, Dr. Kevin will open up your gums and jaw. Then, he will place the grafting material in the area where your dental implant will be placed in the future. A membrane will then be placed to protect the area while it heals.
Then, over the following months, natural jaw bone will begin to heal around the graft that was placed in the surgical site. This adds size, density, and strength to the jaw bone in the surgical area, preparing it for a dental implant. After about three months, your jaw bone will usually be ready for a dental implant.
There is some other good news about jaw bone loss, too. It’s a gradual process! If you act quickly after you lose a tooth and get a dental implant right away, it may not be necessary to get a bone graft at all.
However, you should not wait too long. You lose about 25% of your jaw bone material within the first year of losing your tooth. The sooner you get a dental implant, the more likely it is that you can avoid bone grafts, which will save you both time and money during the implant process.
And once you do get a dental implant, you won’t have to worry about jaw bone loss in the future, either. Unlike alternative tooth replacements including dental bridges and dentures, dental implants stimulate the jaw bone just like a real tooth, so your jaw bone will never weaken or deteriorate.
Whether you need a bone graft to treat jaw bone loss or you’re just interested in the benefits of dental implants, Dr. Kevin and the team at Cedar Avenue Family Dentistry are here to help. If you’d like to schedule an implant consultation, you can book an appointment online or give us a call at (928) 774-3851. We’re always accepting new patients, and we look forward to seeing you soon.