If you’re a Pasadena resident who is missing a tooth or multiple teeth, you may be considering getting dental implants. These built-to-be-permanent tooth replacements are the most advanced, state-of-the-art tooth replacement system available on the market today. Additionally, dental implants look more natural than dentures or bridges and allow patients to eat and chew anything they want, without the risk of their replacement teeth slipping, sliding or breaking. But, not everyone who is missing a tooth or teeth, or that needs to have their teeth extracted, can immediately get dental implants. Sometimes, our doctors need to rebuild their jawbone first.
Why is Jawbone Important for Dental Implants?
Your teeth do more than just help you chew and eat food. The roots of your teeth stimulate jawbone tissue growth, allowing it to be healthy and regenerate over time. If you are missing a tooth or teeth, that stimulation is lost, and your jawbone tissue can deteriorate, or shrink.
Jawbone tissue degeneration is a serious condition that can complicate the dental implant process for Pasadena patients. The reason – the titanium rod portion of your dental implants needs to be inserted in, and fuse with your jawbone tissue for your implants to last a lifetime. If you don’t have enough jawbone tissue you may experience one of the following complications:
- You may have too little jawbone tissue for the implant to be inserted at all
- If the implant is being placed in your upper jawbone, the dental implant may be longer than your jawbone, and hit your sinuses; and
- Your jawbone may fail to fuse with the titanium rod portion of the dental implant, resulting in the implant becoming loose or falling out, a rare condition called implant failure.
Of course, our doctors don’t want their Pasadena patients to experience any of these unnecessary complications. For this reason, they measure the jawbone tissue of prospective dental implants patients, and for some, jawbone grafting may be required before the implant placement can be placed. This may be done alone or with the placement of dental implants.
What is Jawbone Grafting?
Jawbone grafting is the process of “building” more tissue in your jaw. This oral surgery is performed by placing bone from a tissue bank, and then carefully stitching it to your jawbone to build up your bone tissue.
What is a Bone Grafting Surgery Like?
It’s understandable that many Pasadena patients may be disappointed to hear that they can’t get dental implants immediately, but need an additional oral surgery first. However, it’s important to remember that our doctors always have your best interest in mind and that adding bone grafting to your personalized treatment plan is an important step towards getting your teeth replaced and the smile you want.
When you arrive in our offices on the day of your bone grafting surgery, you will be numbed with local anesthesia so that you don’t feel any pain. If you want additional sedation options, those will also be administered. To begin your procedure, our doctors will make an incision in your gums to expose your jawbone; then the donor tissue placed. Finally, our doctors will place a membrane over the graft site and close up the incision.
It can take 6 to 9 months for bone grafting patients to be ready for dental implants.
Understanding the Benefits of Bone Grafting Surgery
While it’s not ideal from a comfort or speed perspective to require a bone grafting surgery before getting dental implants, clearly there are several important reasons – and benefits – of doing so. If you’re told you need bone grafting surgery before you get dental implants, don’t be discouraged, but know that our doctors are looking out for the best possible outcome for you.
Schedule an Evaluation Today
It’s impossible for patients who are missing teeth to know if their natural jawbone tissue is sufficient to hold dental implants. Only our doctors can tell you that after a thorough examination.
To determine your eligibility for dental implants, call our office in Pasadena to schedule an examination at (626) 792-3161.