If your dentist has informed you that you have a bone loss problem that involves the jaw, then you may be at risk of losing teeth. And, if you have already lost a tooth, then your tooth replacement options are more limited. However, you still may have the choice of having a dental implant secured. Keep reading to learn about why a dental implant may not be right for some people with bone loss and what your dentist can do if you do want one.
Dental Implants And Bone Loss
The jaw bone loses some of its bulk as you age, and this is particularly significant if you are a woman in menopause. This means that the bone is thinner and shorter and that it contains fewer minerals within the structure. Since the bone is necessary to keep the dental roots securely in place, bone loss means far less support. The support is minimal for the natural teeth as well as any artificial roots that are secured.
When bone loss starts to develop, the tissue is likely to keep deteriorating as you get older. Remodeling and the formation of new bone material are reduced, and this can lead to a failure of a dental implant that is secured. In addition to failure, your dentist may simply not see enough bone to set the implant root at the right angle and depth. This is a specific issue if the device is needed in any area where nerves or sinuses are located.
How Can Your Dentist Help?
If you have bone loss, then there are some things that your dentist can do to ensure that you can still receive and retain a dental implant. To start, the professional will need to investigate the issue with a bone density test and x-ray imaging. Since CT scan imagery is needed during the planning stage of implantation, the dentist may decide to have this testing completed early so that the structure of the bone is easier to see.
If the bone is thin, then the dentist may decide that a bone graft can be completed to build up the bulk around the implantation site. In this scenario, a shorter and wider implant can be used as well to fit a bit better into the jaw.
The good news is that implants will encourage new bone growth after the procedure is over through basic stimulation of the tissues. However, you will likely need to increase your intake of essential vitamins and minerals so your body has more than enough nutrition to keep the bone strong.