For years now, you’ve been needing dental implants. Unfortunately, though, you’ve been procrastinating. You look in the mirror every day with regret, wishing you would have acted years ago. You finally get up the nerve to seek the help of a competent professional about dental implants in Bedford, but are shocked to find out that you’ve suffered significant bone loss which will prevent you from having a traditional implant procedure. What can you do?
How Does the Dental Implant Process Work?
This process involves the surgical placement of high-quality titanium beneath the gum line, allowing for a period of healing, where the implant fuses with your jawbone structure. This is the most important portion of the procedure. And after you successfully heal, the bridge or crown is installed.
However, none of this is possible if you lack sufficient bone structure. In cases like this your dentist will have to perform a bone grafting.
How Bone Grafting Works
The bone grafting procedure adds a third step to what is typically a two-part process. In this procedure your dentist will take a section of bone from another part of your body. The other alternative is to use a bone grafting material, and graft it onto your jaw bone. Either process will typically require a few months of healing before you can return to have your implant surgery done.
What Causes Thinning of Your Jawbone Structure?
The primary cause of wear and thinning to your jawbone structure is not taking action about missing teeth. When you go for a prolonged period of time without addressing missing teeth, your face begins to collapse because your teeth depend on the pressure from each other to hold your entire facial structure intact.
Furthermore, your body, in its brilliance, only continues to grow new bone cells if this degree of tension is maintained within your jawbone structure. So, when you go along without replacing missing teeth, your body stops producing new bone cells, allowing the jawbone to thin and your face to collapse more into the shape caused by the vacated teeth.
What Can You Do to Prevent This Bone Loss?
- Proper Dental Care – The most important thing you can do is to practice proper dental care, which involves brushing your teeth and flossing at least twice a day. This prevents gum disease, which many times is the #1 culprit of tooth loss.
- Maintain Regular Visits with Your Dentist – Make sure to schedule an appointment with your dentist every six months for cleanings and examinations, so that you can catch any issues early.
- Don’t Hesitate to Get Help – If you’ve already suffered tooth loss, then don’t hesitate. Schedule a visit with your dentist immediately to develop a strategy for fixing your problem.
If your only option is bone grafting, your dentist wants you to not be in despair. There is still help for you, and a chance to start anew with a beautiful smile.
About the Author
Dr. Anthony Bailey has practiced in the Bedford area since 1979, earning his D.D.S. from the Medical College of Virginia School of Dentistry. Dr. Bailey is highly skilled in the full spectrum of dental care from pediatric dentistry to geriatric dental reconstruction. He practices at Peaks View Dental and can be reached for more information about his services through his website.
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