If you are considering dental implants, you may be concerned about your jawbone density. Conventional dental implants are installed directly into the bone of the jaw. As a result, sufficient bone mass is required to support the device. If you have been told that your jawbone density is insufficient for the installation of an implant, there are still options that may be available to you to make a dental implant restoration possible. Here are two of them:
Bone can be harvested and added to your current jawbone. The bone can be taken from an animal, such as a cow, or collected from another area of your body, such as a rib. In some instances, artificial bone material can be used. If the bone is harvested from an animal, the organic material of the animal is removed from the bone before its placement. Once the graft is in place, the animal's material is eventually absorbed and replaced by new bone.
Although bone-grafting procedures are effective, they are sometimes not preferred due to the amount of healing time required. Dental implants must undergo a healing process called osseointegration in order for the devices to become stable within the jawbone. During the healing process, the implant integrates or fuses with the bone. This integration provides a degree of stabilization that is similar to that of a tooth root within the jawbone.
Osseointegration occurs over a period of several months. If a bone graft procedure is performed, that wound must heal properly before the dental implant can be inserted. This can add additional months to the treatment process.
Zygomatic implants are designed for people who have too little jawbone, have already had an implant failure, or may require a sinus lift if a traditional implant is used. To effectively replace a tooth root without requiring insertion into the jawbone, the zygomatic implant, which is longer than traditional implants, is inserted into the cheekbone instead of the jawbone. The implants offer great stability, and the resulting restoration is no different in appearance than a conventional implant.
The positioning of the zygomatic implant is mapped out before the device is placed so that the implant is installed safely without negatively impacting nerves or other sensitive tissues.
To learn more options that may be available to you if you desire dental implants but do not have enough jawbone available, talk to a cosmetic dentist like Hart Dayton DMD.