What is Osseointegration for Implants?
At Lake Sammamish Family Dentistry, we are proud to offer dental implants. Dental implants are a unique treatment for replacing missing teeth. This treatment uses posts, typically made from titanium, which is surgically implanted into your jawbone to support ceramic crowns. Dental implants provide numerous benefits over traditional treatments. They look and feel more natural, they are much more comfortable, and they provide incredible stability. Dental implants also help to protect the health and integrity of your jawbone. To provide these benefits, osseointegration needs to occur.
The Importance of Bone Mass for Implants
Dental implants rely on your jawbone for success. As you heal after the implants have been placed, your bone gradually fuses to the posts. This process is called osseointegration. Successful osseointegration stabilizes the implants in your jaw, turning them into strong roots that hold the ceramic crowns that replace your missing teeth securely in place. With dental implants, the posts function just like the roots of your natural teeth. They provide your jawbone with stimulation that triggers the body to send essential nutrients to your jaw and surrounding areas. As a result, your jawbone remains strong and healthy.
Tooth Loss and Your Jawbone
When you suffer tooth loss, your jawbone loses some of its stimulation. This stimulation is crucial for the health of your jaw. Less stimulation means that fewer nutrients are sent. Over time, the bone begins to weaken. It loses height, width, and mass. Without enough mass, your jawbone cannot properly fuse to the implant posts. In some cases, the bone may not fuse at all. When this happens, the stability of the implants is compromised. Your implants may be loose, or they may fail.
What if I Do Not Have Enough Bone Mass?
It used to be that if you did not have enough bone mass to support dental implants, your only option was to go with a bridge or with dentures. Today, however, there are options that can make dental implants a reality. One of how implants can be made possible is with a bone graft. A bone graft is a surgical procedure that involves taking bone mass from elsewhere in your body, or from a compatible donor at a tissue bank, and placing it in the weakened areas of your jaw. As you heal from this procedure, your natural bone fuses too, or around, the grafting material, restoring strength and shape to your jawbone.
Once you have fully healed from the graft, implants can then be placed. If you are missing an entire arch of teeth, it is possible to get dental implants without the need for a bone graft. This alternative treatment, called All on 4, uses only four implant posts to support your replacement teeth. The posts are placed strategically within your jawbone so that they can take full advantage of the existing bone mass. The bone fuses to these posts and creates a strong, stable full arch replacement without the need for an additional surgical procedure. If you are interested in dental implants to replace your missing teeth, call Lake Sammamish Family Dentistry to schedule your consultation today at (425) 270-1075.