Can I Get Dental Implants If I Have Bone Loss?
Missing teeth or teeth that are damaged beyond repair can drastically change the natural radiance of someone’s smile and their natural capacities to chew and speak. Fortunately, today’s dental practitioners have access to innovative restorative options to help individuals achieve fuller smiles and optimal oral health. At Alliance Family Dentistry, Dr. Dasha Frias Landa works with patients throughout and around Naples, FL to provide dental implants as a long-term solution to replace missing teeth or teeth that require extraction.
What are dental implants?
Dental implants are surgically placed restorations that are used to replace missing teeth. A titanium post is inserted directly into the jawbone to serve as an artificial tooth root. Once the post heals into place, a porcelain, naturally-colored crown is fixed to complete the restoration. Dental implant posts can support single crowns or multiple missing teeth, depending on the patient’s needs. At Alliance Family Dentistry, Dr.Frias Landa can provide patients with alternative ceramic posts if metal restorations are inappropriate for their personal dental care plan.
Benefits of dental implants
Dental implants offer a multitude of benefits to men and women, including:
- A fuller, more complete smile
- Improved overall oral health
- Increased chewing capability
- Clearer speech patterns
- Long-lasting, durable results
- A well-defined recovery protocol
- Minimal discomfort during surgery
Am I an ideal candidate for dental implants?
You may be a viable candidate for dental implants if you:
- Have one or more missing teeth
- Have one or more teeth that require extraction
- Are seeking an alternative to dentures
- Are in good, general health
- Have sufficient jawbone density to host dental implant posts
Dr. Frias Landa will review your dental history and assess the current status of your teeth, gums, and jawbone to determine if dental implants are right for you. Individuals with active gum disease, oral infections, abscesses, or bone loss of the jawbone may not qualify for dental implants.
Can I get dental implants if I have bone loss?
Patients who have measurable bone loss in their mandible (jawbone) and maxilla (upper bone) can still receive dental implants, but may need to resolve the decreased bone density first. If a patient has moderate to severe bone loss, additional bone can be grafted into place to better support the dental implants. Patients with mild bone loss may qualify for dental implants without the need for a bone grafting procedure. Each patient will need to consult with Dr. Frias Landa about what to expect for their personal restorative treatment plan.
How the surgical process for dental implants works
Each patient attends a scheduled visit at Alliance Family Dentistry in Naples, FL. If the gums and jawbone are healthy enough to support the implant(s), Dr. Frias Landa can proceed with the surgical process. First, the tissues are numbed with a local anesthesia for added comfort and minimal pain during the procedure. Sedation dentistry is available for those with increased anxiety or other unique needs. Once the treatment site is numb, Dr. Frias Landa makes a small incision in the gum tissue to carefully fix the titanium or ceramic post to the jawbone. A temporary crown is placed over the post before the patient is discharged home for recovery.
Recovery after dental implants
Patients typically experience tenderness, bruising, and soreness after dental implant surgery, which should subside within a week or two. To optimize healing and reduce risk for infection or other complications, patients participate in a modified diet and gradually progress from softened foods to solid foods over several weeks. Generally, it can take several months for the post to adhere to the jawbone. Once the post(s) are ready, the patient comes back to Alliance Family Dentistry to receive their artificial fixtures, which could include crowns, bridges, or dentures, depending on the patient’s care plan.
Am I at risk for additional bone loss after getting dental implants?
For some men and women, there is an increased risk for bone loss as they age. This includes reduced bone density in the jawbone and surrounding oral structures, which could impact their dental implants. Dr. Frias Landa encourages patients to attend regular dental checkups to monitor their dental implants and to confirm changes, if any, that could compromise their dental implants.
Caring for dental implants
With the proper care and adherence to recovery protocols, individuals can benefit from the long-lasting outcomes dental implants provide. To potentially get many years out of your dental implants, consider applying the following tips:
- Follow your recovery protocols closely
- Avoid excessively chewy, crunchy, sticky, or hard foods
- Brush and floss your teeth and restorations twice daily
- Eat nutritious meals that are low in sugar
- Attend routine dental checkups and professional cleanings
Learn more about bone loss and qualifying for dental implants
If you reside in or near Naples, FL, and would like to learn more about qualifying for dental implants despite experiencing bone loss, contact us at Alliance Family Dentistry and schedule an appointment today. Dr. Dasha Frias Landa will assess your teeth and oral health to determine if dental implants are right for you.