What Goes into Restoring a Weak Jawbone Before Dental Implants?
Posted on 2/8/2021 by Dr. Hallas
Dental implants are used to restore the look of your smile if you are missing one or more teeth. They also maintain the structure of your jaw and face and allow you to chew and speak normally. Because dental implants are screwed into your jaw and act as artificial tooth roots, your jawbone needs to have sufficient density to successfully fuse with and support the implants. However, that does not automatically bar people with weakened jaws from having implants placed. Read on to learn more.
What Causes Your Jaw to Weaken?
Your jawbone can weaken and deteriorate for many reasons. The jaw naturally deteriorates over time as we age, but several factors can speed up this process. Grinding your teeth and clenching your jaw, also known as bruxism, can wear down both your teeth and jaw. If you are missing one or more teeth, your jawbone will wear down unevenly; the less natural teeth you have in your jaw, the more your jawbone will reabsorb into your body. People with osteoporosis may also have a weak jaw, as this condition attacks your bones, making them brittle and fragile. Finally, a jaw injury can also result in a weakened jawbone.
How Can a Weak Jawbone Be Restored?
Even if your jaw has deteriorated due to one of the above reasons, you still might be able to restore your smile with dental implants. We can attempt to restore your jawbone through a bone graft. Bone graft surgery involves taking a piece of healthy bone from another part of your body (or a donor) and using it to fill in the area where bone loss has occurred. We use sedation so you should not experience any discomfort during the procedure or while you heal.
A bone graft lengthens the overall timeframe for having your dental implants placed, as your jawbone will need to heal for several months after the graft. Once your jaw has healed and there is sufficient bone mass, we can place the implants. The implants and your jawbone have to fuse together in a process called osseointegration, which can also take several months. It will be well worth the wait though, since dental implants are a highly effective, permanent, and natural-looking solution to your dental problems. Give us a call today to find out more.
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