Do I Have Enough Jawbone for Dental Implants?

Illustration of a dental implant in a jaw showing the bone, Gum / Gingiva, Implant Abutment and Implant Crown.Losing your teeth is a serious issue that impacts your entire life. Whether you lose a single tooth or multiple teeth, it becomes more difficult to eat and speak. Your smile is affected, which can cause confidence to plummet. Replacing missing teeth is essential for restoring the functions of those teeth and the beauty of your smile. At Southern Arizona Periodontics, we can replace missing teeth with dental implants. To undergo implant treatment, you need to have enough bone mass remaining in your jaw.

What are Dental Implants?

Traditionally, missing teeth have been replaced using either bridge, partial dentures, or a full denture. Today, we provide dental implants as an alternative. This revolutionary treatment is unlike any other, involving the use of small titanium posts that are surgically placed into your jawbone. The bone then fuses to the posts in a process called osseointegration. This process turns the posts into strong, immovable roots that are then used to hold your new teeth securely in place. Dental implants provide several incredible benefits, including the preservation of your jawbone by stopping and preventing bone loss.

Tooth Loss and Bone Loss

Your teeth have several significant roles in your mouth. Many of these roles are readily apparent. In addition to eating, speaking, and the quality of your smile, your teeth are also important for the health of your jawbone. Every time you chew, the roots of your teeth stimulate the bone. This stimulation triggers your body to send nutrients essential for the health of the bone and surrounding areas. Any tooth loss, no matter if you lose only one, means that you lose some of the stimulation to your jaw. This leads to fewer nutrients being sent. Over time, the jaw begins to lose mass and weaken.

Why is the Jawbone Important for Implants?

The condition of your jawbone is crucial for the success of your dental implants. After your implants are placed, the bone, then fuses to them, integrating them into the jaw. The longer you wait to have your missing teeth replaced, the more bone loss you are likely to accrue. Without enough bone mass, there is less bone to fuse to the posts. You may not have enough bone to fuse at all. Placing implants in these conditions can lead to loose implants or even complete implant failure.

What If I Do Not Have Enough Jawbone?

If you do not have enough bone mass in your jaw during your initial consultation, this does not automatically mean that you cannot get dental implants. A bone graft, a surgical procedure, can be performed to restore strength to your jaw, which can then provide implants with the stability they need. If you are missing an entire arch of teeth, you may be able to avoid the need for a bone graft with an alternative treatment called All on 4 treatment concept. With this treatment, four posts are used, as opposed to the six to eight typically used, to support your new teeth. The posts are placed in the jaw in a way that allows them to take full advantage of the bone mass you have remaining.

Dental implants are an effective treatment for replacing missing teeth that offer several significant benefits. For more information, and to find out if this revolutionary treatment is right for you, call Southern Arizona Periodontics at 520-322-9300 to schedule your consultation today.