At Lakeside Dental, Dr. Joseph Blalock specializes in dental implants in Lenoir City. With a dental implant, you can permanently restore one or more missing teeth and love your smile once again. But if you’re thinking about implant dentistry, you may have heard that your jaw bone needs to be strong enough to accommodate a dental implant.
So what if you have jaw bone loss after losing your teeth? Can you still get a dental implant? The answer is “yes!” With bone grafts, most patients can get dental implants at Lakeside Dental, even if their jaw is not strong enough for dental implants on its own. Let’s get into the details.
Bone loss starts after you lose one or more of your teeth. When you bite and chew, force is sent through your teeth into your jaw bone. This stimulates the bone tissue and keeps it strong. But after you lose a tooth, this no longer happens. Since the bone is no longer being stimulated, it starts to weaken. This is called “bone loss” or “bone resorption.”
If you want to avoid bone loss, the best thing to do is to replace your missing tooth with a dental implant as soon as possible. You can lose up to 25% of your jaw bone density within one year of losing a tooth. The sooner you get a dental implant, the more likely it is that your jaw bone will be strong enough to accommodate your new tooth.
So, what if your jaw bone isn’t strong enough for a dental implant? A procedure called a “bone graft” is the solution. In this procedure, Dr. Blalock will create an opening in your gums and jaw bone. Then, he will place some bone granules in this area. Over time, natural bone will heal over these bone granules, strengthening the area for a future dental implant.
If your jaw bone tissue is weak and not dense enough for an implant, a bone graft is usually the best solution. However, bone grafting does add more time and costs to the dental implant treatment process. Getting early treatment for a missing tooth early reduces the likelihood that you’ll need a bone graft, so it’s important to see Dr. Blalock as soon as you can after tooth loss!
Dental implants also help prevent future bone loss after your surgery. This is because dental implants are anchored to a metal post that reaches deep into your jaw bone. When you bite and chew, this post transmits force into your jaw tissue, just like a “real” tooth would.
This stimulates the jaw bone and keeps it strong. As long as your dental implant is healthy and stays in place, you won’t have to worry about any bone resorption in the area. This is one of the things that makes dental implants unique. Other tooth replacements like dentures and dental bridges don’t prevent future bone loss.
As a leading implant dentist in Lenoir City, Dr. Blalock can help you explore your options for permanent tooth replacement, even if you have experienced bone resorption after tooth loss. Contact us online or give us a call at (865) 635-4999 to schedule your consultation today, and take the first steps toward restoring your smile.