There Is No "One Key" To Great Dental Health

Dental Implants for Those Who Can't Receive a Bone Graft

The success of dental crown implants is dependent on a lot of different factors. One of the most important is the state of the relevant alveolar ridge. You actually have two alveolar ridges—one in your upper jaw and one in your lower jaw. It's a ridge of bone that houses your dental sockets, which support your individual teeth. When a tooth is lost, the applicable section of the ridge loses some density, as it no longer needs to support the tooth. Bone grafting is the primary means to overcome this problem. But what about when bone grafting is unlikely to work for you?

The Grafting Process

Bone grafting is simply the addition of bone tissue to the socket. This generally comes from you, and a minuscule amount of bone is removed from elsewhere in your mouth, or even from your hip. This allows the alveolar ridge to redensify, which is important for a dental crown implant. Some dentists will even preemptively add a direct graft to a socket after extracting a tooth, to pave the way for a future implant.

A Standard Implant

Once the bone has redensified, your dentist can add the implant. This is a titanium bolt inserted into your jaw. The bone and other tissues then fuse around the implant, stabilizing it. This is a process called osseointegration, and once it has been completed, the implant is finished with a dental crown (the prosthetic tooth). The trouble is, not everyone can receive a bone graft to prepare them for an implant.

When Grafting Isn't an Option

There are a few conditions that can make you unsuitable for dental bone grafts. It might be a matter of age, a calcium deficiency, thyroid issues, or osteoporosis. Since a sufficiently dense alveolar ridge is necessary for a dental implant, and your alveolar ridge cannot be prepared with a bone graft, does this mean you can't get a dental implant?

A Specialized Implant

Talk to your dentist about a subperiosteal implant. This is a dental implant that is inserted underneath your gum tissue but above your jaw bone. As such, it doesn't rely upon bone density. Its strength comes from customization. Instead of being a mass-produced titanium bolt, the subperiosteal implant is designed to fit the profile of the bone beneath it. These implants can be fragile for a period after implantation, so to avoid implant failure, it's crucial to follow hygiene and dietary instructions. 

A lack of alveolar ridge density and an inability to receive bone grafts won't prevent you from getting a dental implant, but the settling process for the implant can be a delicate time, so be sure to do everything you can to allow the implant to properly stabilize.

For more information, contact dental clinics that can install dental crown implants.