Considering a dental implant? Have you been told that your bone volume is too low for the procedure? A Surrey-based dental implant specialist is here to answer your questions and provide you with a series of options to ensure your treatment is a success.
Why may I have insufficient bone volume to support an implant?
When a tooth is lost, the jawbone will gradually recede from the site. This is due to the absent tooth no longer being used to chew, which stimulates the growth of new bone cells. It is therefore imperative to conserve as much bone as possible for your implant. A socket preservation procedure (bone grafting) might be an option at the time of extraction.
I do not have enough bone to fit the implant. What are my options?
In the majority of cases, bone reconstruction is a viable option before an implant is fitted. Do not be discouraged if you have been told this is impossible or denied the procedure due to low bone volume in the past.
After your initial consultation, your dentist may present you with a choice of options to reconstruct enough bone for the implant procedure.
These consist of:
- Bone Grafting
A bone graft entails bone, or similar reconstructive material being placed in the jaw, to stimulate bone cell growth. Bovine (cow) bone will be inserted into the jawbone in this procedure, to support and strengthen the site in preparation for the implant.
Artificial bone substitute material may be suggested as an alternative to bovine bone, providing a similar supporting structure before your implant can be fitted over it.
- Sinus Lift
This is a procedure used to reconstruct bone in the upper jaw. Grafting material (again employing either bovine bone or artificial substances) is packed under the sinus lining to provide more bone for the actual implant. This serves to graft bone onto the upper jaw, positioned at molar and premolar sites, building a foundation for the implant.
There are two different types of sinus lift procedure:
A: Closed (Crestal) which is done at the same time the implant is placed
B: Open (Lateral windows approach), where there is not much bone left, then bone is grafted through the side under the sinuses surgically and is left there to heal for up to 6 months before the implant can be placed.
What does the implant procedure involve?
After recovery from a successful reconstruction procedure (time variable on patient and procedure), there is a fairly comfortable operation to fit your implant, under local anaesthetic. The procedure may last up to several hours, depending on the extent of work required. This surgery is not overly intrusive, and post-operation treatment is minimal, especially when aided by a full surgical guide (which does not require incising the gums) Your dentist will have usually prescribed a course of antibiotics.
What’s the next step?
Your implant needs to mesh with the bone to prepare it for the final step, a permanent crown that will be fitted over it to give the tooth the ideal appearance and function. This process will vary depending on bone volume at the site, but waiting periods tend to be between two and six months.
How do I take care of my implant?
- Maintain oral hygiene – Once comfort permits, brush and thoroughly clean the surgical site to avoid bacteria build-up.
- Avoid smoking – Smoking inhibits healing in the mouth.
- The affected area may swell and become sore following the procedure. This is normal, but it will subside between one and two weeks.
- Diabetic patients and those taking medication for Osteoporosis may need to consult with their dentist prior to procedure, as these conditions can compromise the body’s ability to heal.
What is the lifespan of my implant?
Potentially the rest of your life. Dental implant success rates are over 90%. Low bone volume is rarely an obstacle to enjoying the benefits of implant surgery. With the right fit and dedicated aftercare, the implant can last a lifetime.
Dental Sedation in Surrey
If you are considering having a dental implant placed, it is important to understand the various forms of sedation and their advantages and disadvantages and to choose the one that is best for you and that you are most comfortable with. Sedation specialist in Surrey can help you to make the best choice for your particular situation.
Schedule an appointment with us today by calling 01483568584. We look forward to meeting you!