As we mentioned on our Implant Candidacy page, some patients are not initially able to move forward with the dental implant process. The most common reasons for why a patient might not be able to proceed with dental implant treatment are jawbone deterioration and gum recession. These two conditions attack the support structures that stabilize dental implants, resulting in the possible failure of your implants should you choose to move forward with the treatment regardless of your condition. Fortunately, patients with these conditions can reverse the damage caused by them using supplemental procedures, such as bone grafting and soft tissue augmentation. We encourage you to read on to learn more about these procedures and how they can restore your candidacy for implant treatment.
When you lose a tooth, it becomes possible for your jawbone to begin deteriorating. The reason for this is the fact that the jawbone requires constant stimulation in order to stay healthy and strong. This stimulation comes from vibrations that are caused by the impact of food on your teeth, as well as by speaking to others. These vibrations start in your teeth and travel down your roots and into your jawbone. But when you lose a tooth, the area of the jawbone that tooth was embedded in will no longer be getting the exercise it needs to maintain itself, and will begin to deteriorate as a result.
Jawbone deterioration can have many effects on your body outside of your immediate ability to have dental implants placed. In fact, jawbone deterioration can have a drastic effect on your facial appearance. Because the jawbone works to support the shape of your face, you may experience hollowed cheeks as a result of the condition, leading to a “sunken” appearance. It is also possible that the skin directly around your lips will wrinkle prematurely. As a result of these problems, patients suffering from these conditions tend to be described as appearing aged or unhealthy.
When we receive a patient who is suffering from jawbone deterioration, we can reverse the damage done by the condition using a procedure called bone grafting. This procedure takes bone tissue, usually synthetic or donated, and grafts it to the deficient areas of your jawbone. As your jawbone heals, it will take this new tissue and absorb it, using it to heal and strengthen itself. With this treatment, we can restore your jawbone to the point where it can support dental implants.
Just like the jawbone, it is also possible for your gums to be affected by your missing teeth. In fact, your gums can actually begin to recede, making it harder to restore missing teeth while also potentially damaging your remaining teeth. More reasons for why gum recession occurs includes:
- Aggressive Brushing: If you brush your teeth too roughly, then you could damage the gums around your teeth, causing them to recede.
- Bad Oral Hygiene: If you are not properly caring for your oral hygiene, then your gums can begin to recede as a result.
- Periodontal Disease: This condition directly goes after your gums, damaging them and eating away at them until they completely pull away from your teeth.
Soft Tissue Augmentation
For patients with gum recession, we can use soft tissue augmentation to reverse the damage done by the condition. This treatment uses gum tissue taken directly from the patient and grafts it to the areas of the gums that need to heal. As your gums heal, they will take this new tissue and absorb it, using it to heal themselves and restore density. Thanks to gum recession, we can reverse the effects of gum recession, allowing you to move forward with your dental implant treatment.
Determine Your Need for Supplemental Treatment
As you can see, not initially qualifying for treatment with dental implants doesn’t mean that you will be barred from having them placed. With supplemental treatments like bone grafting and soft tissue augmentations, we can restore the damage that could be keeping you from receiving the restoration that you are looking for. If you would like to find out whether or not you might need a supplemental procedure, contact our office today and schedule a no-obligation consultation with Dr. Matthew Huff.