Discovering that you do not have enough viable bone to support dental implants can be devastating. Missing teeth can take a toll on anyone's self-confidence. Fortunately, there is a possibility that you could still have the implants with the help of a procedure. If you want implants but have bone issues, here is what you need to know.
What Can the Dental Surgeon Do?
Sometimes, the jawbone can be too thin or soft for a dental implant. Without a strong foundation, the root for the implant will not be strong enough to support the tooth. When this occurs, surgeons can sometimes perform a bone graft to help improve the overall condition of the jawbone.
The bone graft is performed by taking part of a bone from another part of your body and grafting it onto the jawbone. Some surgeons prefer to use a bone donated from another source, such as a cow. Once the bone is in place, the surgeon will then use a grafting material that consists of proteins and collagen to encourage growth of your jawbone.
After the material is applied, the surgeon will then close your gums and wait for healing to occur before moving onto the next step of the dental implant process. It is important to note that during this time, the grafting material will be absorbed by the new bone that is growing in your jawbone.
What Happens After Surgery?
Following the bone grafting procedure, it is important that you follow the directions of the surgeon. The recommendations likely include avoiding certain foods. For instance, hard and chewy foods could be restricted out of fear they could damage your gums or jawbone.
You also need to be careful with your dental health. If you fail to properly care for your gums and teeth, infection could occur. An infection will slow the rate of recovery and could even result in other complications. Depending on the condition of your gums and teeth, the surgeon might recommend the use of a prescription strength mouthwash that has antibacterial properties.
If you develop any complications while recovering, notify your surgeon immediately. He or she will need to evaluate the progress of the bone graft and determine if an additional procedure is needed.
There could be other issues to deal with a lack of jawbone. Talk to a dentist, like John S. Lyon DDS, about options that could possibly work for you and to receive advice on caring for your dental health.Share