Implants / Bone Grafting
Missing teeth can negatively impact anyone’s self-esteem. Even more bothersome, they make it difficult to chew and can impact the overall functioning of your mouth and jaws. Dental implants permanently replace missing teeth.
What is a dental implant? What is bone grafting?
A dental implant is a replacement for the tooth root (typically made from titanium). Like a tooth root, dental implants are secured in the jaw bone and are not noticeable once surgically placed. The prosthetic or crown is mounted on top of the dental implant to create a natural-looking smile that should last a lifetime.
In the event that your jawbone is too weak to support the dental implant, the grafting procedure is done to ensure your jaw has sufficient bone to support the implant. This is an important step in implant restoring and maintaining facial bone structure. The jaw and other facial bones support the skin and muscles that are responsible for our outward cosmetic appearance, without the underlying bone, our faces can look prematurely aged. In minor cases, bone grafting can be done at the same time as the implant. In other cases, it may take additional time for the jawbone to grow strong enough to support the implant.
Who is a candidate for dental implants / bone grafting?
Most people who want to replace a missing tooth or teeth are good candidates for dental implants. The best candidates have healthy gums, a strong jawbone to anchor the implants, and a willingness to take care of their implants by practicing good oral hygiene and committing to follow-up dental appointments.
Each person’s individual needs are different and each procedure is unique, Dr. Kenney is happy to consult and discuss your situation to determine whether this is the best option for you.
What is the minimum age of a patient to receive dental implants?
It is essential that skeletal growth of the jawbone be complete before a patient receives dental implants.
What is the procedure? / What does it involve?
Dental implant procedures are usually performed in stages. The entire process can take three to nine months or longer depending on your oral health and the number of missing teeth you are replacing. While local anesthesia is usually sufficient, oral sedation is an available option for such procedure.
A major part of your time investment will be devoted to healing, especially in cases where bone grafting is required where you will enter a healing period called osseointegration.
Is there follow-up treatment?
Yes. Once your new crowns are securely in place it will be necessary for the dentist to confirm the implant fits and is functioning properly. To do that, you will need to schedule routine checkup appointments three to six-month during the first year. At these appointments, the dentist may take x-rays to better examine the jawbone and ensure there are no complications.