Do you have missing teeth? Many adults do. Receiving dental implants in San Antonio, TX can treat the problem for life, in many cases. However, not all patients are immediate candidates for dental implant surgery. For instance, if you have extensive bone loss, you may need to undergo other procedures first.
The Relationship Between Bone Loss and Dental Implants
To understand why you may not qualify for dental implant placement right away, you should understand how all dental implants work. The screw-shaped implant itself, whether made of titanium or a ceramic material, is surgically placed in the upper or lower jaw. After surgery, the site heals for several months.
During the healing process, the implant fuses with the bone. This is called osseointegration. Once osseointegration is complete, the implant and bone become one. At that point, your oral surgeon would add an abutment and lifelike dental crown to the implant.
Obviously, the bone plays a significant role in how stable the dental implant will be. The bone also keeps the titanium from oxidizing from contact with air over time. Consequently, patients who receive dental implants must have an appropriate amount of bone density to support their new prosthesis.
Are Patients With Bone Loss Ever Able to Receive Dental Implants?
To be sure, if you have bone loss, you may still be able to move forward with dental implant treatment. How? The answer is through a bone graft.
Bone grafting procedures place small amounts of bone material from another part of your body or from a donor into the jaw bone. In a few months, the bone that has been introduced recently will fuse with the old bone. Your oral surgeon will then know if you have the bone volume required to support placement of a dental implant.
Though bone grafting can take time and patience, it is well worth the wait if you want to correct your smile by replacing missing teeth. Plus, building up your bone can be good for your body overall by restoring the natural shape and function of your jaw bone.
Set up an Appointment to Discuss Bone Loss in San Antonio, TX
Do you suspect or know you have extensive bone loss that might prevent you from receiving dental implants? Make an appointment with our doctors, Dr. Andrew Mueller, Dr. Patrick Waters, and Dr. Danielle Larivey, at The Marquis Center to discuss bone grafting in our office in San Antonio, TX. You can reach our office during normal business hours by calling (210) 741-8399. If you live closer to our office in Wichita Falls, TX, please contact us at (940) 333-3144.