Dental implants are completely unique when it comes to tooth restoration procedures. The reason for this is that unlike treatments like dental bridges and dentures, which merely sit on top of your gums, dental implants are directly fused to your jawbone and gums. This is all thanks to a process called osseointegration, which occurs during the recovery period of the dental implant process.
In order for osseointegration to succeed, it is important that your jawbone and gums are healthy enough to support the implant fixture. However, it is possible for these structures to deteriorate and recede, becoming too weak to accept your new dental implants. Many people hear that they do not have the jaw density required to support implants and simply give up on the treatment. However, at our practice, our oral and maxillofacial surgeon Dr. Ahmad Chaudhry can perform treatments like bone grafting and soft tissue augmentation, which can restore your candidacy for treatment with dental implants. Read on to learn more.
What many people don’t realize about the jawbone is that, much like a muscle, it requires constant exercise in order to stay healthy and strong. Now, usually this exercise comes from the impact food makes on your teeth, and also from speaking. These activities cause vibrations that travel down your tooth roots and into your jawbone. But, when you lose a tooth, your jawbone is no longer getting these vibrations, and the area that the missing tooth was connected to will no longer get the exercise it needs to maintain itself. As a result, this area of the jawbone will begin to deteriorate.
Jawbone deterioration can actually do more than just affect your ability to get dental implants. In fact, it can actually have many negative effects on your face. The jawbone actually does a lot to support your facial structure. So when it begins to deteriorate, it can actually end up causing your cheeks to hollow out, giving you a “sunken” appearance. It is also highly likely that the skin around your jawline will prematurely wrinkle. Commonly, patients suffering from extreme jawbone deterioration are described as appearing aged or unhealthy.
For our patients who are being kept from dental implant treatment because of jawbone deterioration, Dr. Chaudhry can alleviate the problem using bone grafting. Bone grafting is a surgical procedure that takes bone samples from another source, usually donated or synthetic, and grafts them to the deficient areas of your jawbone. Because of the same regenerative ability that allows the dental implant process to succeed, your jawbone will be able to integrate this new tissue into itself, absorbing it and using it to strengthen itself.
Another common reason for why patients may need to delay their dental implant treatment is gum recession. For a variety of different reasons, it is possible for your gum tissue to begin receding, which is when your gum tissue begins to retract down your tooth, exposing your roots. Some common reasons for why gum recession can occur are:
For patients who are being held back from dental implant treatment because of gum recession, Dr. Chaudhry can use soft tissue augmentation. This procedure takes gum tissue from the palate of your mouth and grafts it to the deficient areas of your mouth. As your gums heal, they will take this tissue and incorporate it into their structure, healing the damage done by recession.
For the most part, these procedures can both be performed directly before the implant is placed. However, if your condition is severe enough, you will need to have your supplemental procedure performed months in advance, as your mouth will need time to heal before it will be able to accept dental implants. Are you curious about whether or not you will need a supplemental procedure before you will be able to move forward with the dental implant process? If so, contact our office and schedule a no-obligation consultation with Dr. Ahmad Chaudhry today.
We also encourage you to read our resource on how to choose the right dental implant provider for your needs.
Dr. Ahmad Chaudhry
Lehigh Valley Oral Surgery and Implant Center
2571 Baglyos Circle, Suite B23
Monday: 7:30AM – 3PM
Tuesday: Emergencies by appointment
Wednesday: 8:30AM – 5PM
Thursday: 8:30AM – 5PM
Friday: 7:30AM – 3PM