WHAT ARE DENTAL IMPLANTS?
Dental implants are a permanent solution to missing teeth, whether that is one missing tooth, multiple missing teeth or an entire restoration of the upper or lower arch. A dental implant is a titanium screw, which is inserted into the jawbone, like that of a root of a natural tooth. The implant is then fitted with a crown or a dental bridge which look and feel like natural teeth. In dentistry today, dental implants are regarded as the closest reconstructive procedure to regaining natural teeth.
WHAT IS A BONE GRAFT
Bone grafts, also known as block grafts are a simple procedure carried out by an oral surgeon. Bone grafts increase the width and height of the bone at the implant site (where the implant needs to be placed.). The surgeon performs a bone graft by using the bone graft tissue or material and attaching it to the deficient bone area. The bone graft material contains collagen and proteins that also encourage bone growth. There are different types of bone grafts as well as different types of procedures performed for the upper and lower jaw.
WHY ARE BONE GRAFTS NECESSARY?
The foundation of a dental implant is bone. For a dental implant to be successful as well as long lasting there needs to be sufficient bone mass in the jaw for implantation. There are different factors which contribute to the success of a dental implant, but one of the most important is Osseointegration. Osseointegration is where a biocompatible material such as a titanium implant heals and creates a ‘bond to bone’. Without sufficient bone mass, this process cannot take place and the implant will fail.
The problem that dental surgeons face is that many patients who want dental implant treatment also suffer from bone loss. One of the leading cases of bone loss is tooth loss. Once a tooth is lost or a tooth is extracted, the bone that once surrounded the tooth recesses or is lost because of the absence of the tooth. The rate of bone loss is variable but will always happen unless a procedure or specific care is taken to reduce or prevent the effects.
A patient looking for dental implant(s) who has suffered from bone loss can have an additional procedure to increase bone mass called a bone graft or block graft. Please note that not every patient will be suitable for a bone graft and this is evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
DIFFERENT TYPES OF BONE GRAFTS
This is where the bone is taken from somewhere else in the body (donor site) such as the chin, back of the jaw or in some cases the hip. A donor site taken from the patient means that there is a decreased risk of the body rejecting the bone.
An allograft is a donated bone graft from another human. These work exactly the same as autogenous grafts.
These are where the bone is taken from an animal to be used for bone grafts. Either Equine or Bovine is usually used.
This is a synthetic bone substitute, which is chemically similar to mimic human bone. Alloplasts also promote new natural bone formation.
DIFFERENT TYPES OF PROCEDURES
Sinus lift or Augmentation
If there is insufficient bone mass in the upper jaw a dental surgeon may suggest a Sinus lift. A sinus lift is where the bone in the upper jaw, where your molars and premolars are, is elongated. A bone graft is inserted between the jaw and the maxillary sinuses, which are on either side of the nose. In order to create space for the bone graft, the sinus membrane has to be moved upwards or lifted.
This is where the transplanted tissue or bone graft is added or laid directly onto the surface of the recipient’s bone. The new piece of bone will slowly join to the underlying region and when healed and to mature, an implant can be placed in a more favourable position.
OTHER REASONS A PATIENT WOULD NEED A BONE GRAFT...
In some cases, the maxillary sinus may be too close to the upper jaw regardless of bone mass just because the shape and size of the sinus vary person to person. Age is also a factor in this, as the sinus can also get larger as you age. In a case like this, a patient would also need a sinus lift to create sufficient space between the upper jaw and the sinuses.
If you’ve previously experienced oral conditions, such as gum or periodontal disease, injury or trauma to your face and or jaw, the quality of your bone may be compromised.
DENTURES VS DENTAL IMPLANTS
What many patients do not know is that dentures cannot stop the bone recession and that is why after a while dentures progressively become looser and do not fit as well as they did when they were first fitted. This is why common problems occur such as difficulty with speech and eating as well as soreness around the gums. Dental implants, on the other hand, do preserve bone. As dental implants are placed within the jaw bone like that of a natural tooth, using your mouth, such as eating and talking, stimulates the surrounding bone. This stimulation will make the bone stronger and denser. This is not the same in every single patient and results with vary, it is best to discuss directly with your dentist.
For more information, contact The Brighton Implant Clinic
HOW IS BONE MASS EVALUATED?
To evaluate a patient’s bone mass, a patient will need a CT scan, which is a computerised tomography. This advanced X-ray facility shows 3-dimensional photos of bone mass. A CT scan enables a dentist to see the density of bone, the height, your anatomical structure and more. This will enable your dentist to evaluate your suitability for dental Implant treatment as well as any additional procedures you may need.
THE BRIGHTON IMPLANT CLINIC
If you would like more information on dental implant treatment or if you would like to find out whether this procedure is suitable for you. Here, at the Brighton Implant Clinic, we provide a free dental implant consultation. The Brighton Implant Clinic is an award winning dental health clinic, renowned for our cosmetic restorations and achievements in dental implant cases. Dr Silva and the team promise patient’s first class dentistry with first class patient care, be that in routine procedures, cosmetic treatments or complex cases in dental implantology.
WHAT ARE OUR PATIENTS SAYING?
I had 2 implants, all in all took 10 months to complete, but wow was I happy with the results, cannot put into words how happy I am, my amazing dentist Aura Fanandez was fantastic, I was probably one of the most nervous patients, but I shouldn't of been, it never hurt once. Really !! So recommend them.
From the beginning of the process to my final fit of all on four implants the care I received from Bruno and all his team was excellent. Bruno's manner is caring and non intimidating. His attention to detail with regard to getting my final teeth to look 'just right' was exemplary.
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