If you are planning to have your missing teeth replaced using a dental implant, the amount of jawbone that you have available will affect your implantation procedure. Here are two ways that the density of your jawbone can impact your dental implant process:
You may be required to have short dental implants installed.
Short dental implants are implants that are not as long as standard implants. If your jawbone is thin, and a standard dental implant is installed, the implant may harm structures within the bone such as sensitive nerves.
The upper jaw is called the maxilla. When a dental implant is installed, it is drilled directly into the jawbone. The maxillary nerves, which are located in the upper jawbone, can be damaged as a standard dental implant is placed if there is too little jawbone available between the nerve and the implant. In fact, in some cases, even if there is sufficient jawbone density but the positioning of the nerve is too close to the area where the dental implant will be installed, it can still be problematic.
Likewise the alveolar bone of the lower jaw also contains nerves that can be damaged by a full-length dental implant. As a result, a short dental implant may be more suitable.
You may need to have a bone-grafting procedure.
A bone grafting procedure offers you the opportunity to have additional bone added to your current jawbone so that a dental implant can be successfully installed. During a bone-grafting procedure, bone is added to increase the density of your jawbone. Once the procedure is complete, you may have to wait a few months in order for the bone to heal sufficiently before the actual placement of the dental implant can be performed.
The additional bone can come from several sources, such as another place in your body. However, it can also be donated from an animal or a cadaver.
The grafting procedure will add an additional cost to your dental implant installation. However, once the graft is complete, the jawbone will receive consistent stimulation from the dental implant to help ensure that new bone cells are regularly generated. Stimulation will be received each time you bite or chew.
To learn more about dental implants, schedule a consultation with a local dentist. The dentist can assess the state of your jawbone and determine whether or not you are a good candidate for a dental implant. Contact a business, such as the Colerain Denture Center, for more information.