If you’ve been told by Dr. Kim or another dentist that you cannot receive dental implants because of poor jawbone health, this doesn’t mean that you are disqualified from dental implants completely. It simply means that you may have to receive additional treatments before the implant process can begin, and that’s where supplemental treatments come in.
A supplemental treatment is any procedure or treatment that improves the condition of your oral health in preparation for another major procedure. For dental implants, these extra treatments can mean intensive cleanings, or recovery from tooth decay or gum disease. Most commonly, it’s a means to help the mouth regain good jawbone or gum tissue health, in order to provide sufficient support for the dental implant.
You may be asking yourself, what does my jawbone have to do with my dental implants? Well, everything: dental implants are successful thanks to the process of osseointegration, which is unique only to dental implants when it comes to tooth replacement options. Osseointegration is the fusion of the titanium parts to the jawbone, securing it for years to come. But in order for osseointegration to work, it needs a reliable foundation of jawbone to be placed in. If there’s too little jawbone, then the implant could shift, break, or even fall out.
Osseointegration is not only responsible for longevity, but for the durability of the dental implant as well. Without it, the teeth around the implant could begin to shift or change in bite pressure in order to compensate for the changes. With osseointegration, patients can still eat what they want, without worrying about special food preparations.
Let’s take a look at the two most common supplemental treatments for dental implants: bone grafts and soft tissue augmentations.
In order to recover from jawbone depletion, new bone material must be introduced to the depletion site. Most often, it only requires a sampling of bone granules in order to trigger regeneration, though in rare cases a larger sample may be needed.
Once this new bone material is placed, it’s left alone to heal. Depending on the size of the depleted area, sometimes this procedure can be performed at the same time as the placement of the fixture, so that they can heal together.
Like jawbone, gum tissue is also needed to have good dental implants support. However, if a patient has suffered from periodontal disease in the past, their gums may have receded or become too tender from disease. A soft tissue augmentation transfers new tissue to the damaged areas of your gums and helps them recover from the after effects of the disease. This way, your implant will look even more realistic if it’s secured with healthy gum tissue.
In Reston, VA, trust in the experience of dental implant provider Dr. Sonny Kim, to restore your smile to it’s former beauty. Even if you’ve suffered from gum disease or tooth decay, a bone graft or soft tissue augmentation can help. Contact us today about your candidacy for these supplemental treatments prior to your dental implants.