Are you considering dental implants but worried about having bone loss? Dental implants are an excellent solution for missing teeth, but if you’ve experienced bone loss, you may wonder if they’re still a viable option.
Let’s start with the basics: what are dental implants? Simply put, they’re artificial tooth roots inserted into your jawbone to support a replacement tooth or bridge. Unlike dentures, which sit on top of your gums, implants fuse with your bone and provide a stable, long-lasting foundation for your new teeth.
Now, let’s talk about bone loss. This common problem can occur when you’ve lost one or more teeth. When a tooth is missing, the bone beneath it can begin to deteriorate over time. This can make it more difficult to place an implant, as there may not be enough healthy bone to support it.
But don’t worry – there are solutions to this! In fact, many people with bone loss can still get dental implants. Your dentist may recommend a bone graft, a procedure that adds additional bone to your jaw to provide a stronger foundation for an implant.
Understanding Bone Loss and Dental Implants
Bone loss is a condition in which there is a decrease in the mass of bone in the jaw. Bone loss can occur due to various factors, such as gum disease, trauma, or aging. It can also be caused by a lack of nutrients in the jaw, which leads to weakened bones. As the bones weaken, they become less dense, leading to bone loss. In the jaw, this can decrease the available bone for dental implants.
Bone loss can have a negative impact on the success of dental implant surgery. Since dental implants require a certain amount of bone density to be successful, if there is not enough density in the jaw, the implants may not be able to be placed. Considering jaw density when planning dental implant surgery is important, as this will determine the procedure’s success.
Types of bone loss and how each can affect dental implant placement
Two types of bone loss can occur in the jaw: resorptive and obstructive.
- Resorptive bone loss occurs when the body reabsorbs the jawbone, which can decrease the amount of available bone for implant placement.
- Obstructive bone loss occurs when a blockage in the jaw prevents the implant from being placed.
Both types of bone loss can affect the success of dental implant surgery as they reduce the amount of bone available for implant placement.
Can You Get Dental Implants with Bone Loss?
When considering dental implants with bone loss, age, health, and the extent of bone loss are important factors:
- Age is important because younger patients are usually able to heal faster, and their bones are stronger and more resilient to the implant procedure.
- Health is important because if a patient has certain medical conditions or takes certain medications, they may not be ideal candidates for the procedure.
- The extent of bone loss is also important because it helps determine the complexity of the implant procedure. More extensive treatment might be necessary if the patient has advanced bone loss.
Possible Dental Solutions to Bone Loss
Scheduling a consultation will allow your dentist to assess whether the following could help you:
Bone grafting can be used to address bone loss and improve candidacy for dental implants. A bone graft is a procedure where a piece of bone from another part of the patient’s body is transplanted into the area that needs reconstruction. This piece of bone is then integrated into the existing bone and can be used to create a stable foundation for the dental implant.
Mini implants are an alternative for those with severe bone loss. Mini implants are smaller than traditional implants and are often used when there is not enough bone to support traditional implants. They are inserted directly into the jawbone and can provide a strong and stable foundation for dental restorations.
The benefits of mini implants include:
- less surgery time
- shorter recovery time
- less damage to the surrounding bone
The downsides are that they can be less stable than traditional implants, may require additional treatments to maintain stability and have a slightly lower success rate than traditional implants.
Success Rates for Dental Implants with Bone Loss
Dental implants are a safe and successful way for those with bone loss to replace missing teeth. Studies have shown that dental implants can last a lifetime with proper care, with a success rate of 95% in patients, including those with bone loss.
In this context, the success rate means the implant can stay in the jawbone without any complications. The implant will be securely attached to the jawbone, with no signs of loosening or shifting over time.
What factors will impact the success of dental implants in those with bone loss?
The success of dental implants in those with bone loss can be affected by many factors, including the amount of bone remaining, the quality of the bone, the size and shape of the implant, and any underlying medical conditions.
The skill and experience of the implant dentist and the quality of the implant materials used can also affect the success of the implant. If the implant dentist is inexperienced or the implant materials used must be of better quality, the implant may not succeed.
For example, suppose a patient has a low amount of bone remaining. In that case, the implant may not anchor itself into the bone adequately, or if the patient has a medical condition that affects the bone, such as diabetes, it may not be able to secure itself.
Alternatives to Dental Implants for Those with Bone Loss
If your bone loss stands in the way of dental implants, other tooth replacement options may be a better fit for your situation. These include dental bridges, dentures, and dental crowns. Each of these procedures has its own unique pros and cons that you should consider when making your decision.
If you’re not a good candidate for dental implants due to bone loss, then it’s important to consider the alternative tooth replacement options available seriously. They provide an effective solution for replacing missing teeth and may also be more cost-effective and easier to maintain than dental implants. Talk to your dentist to discuss the best option for your situation.
How to Know if You’re A Good Candidate for Dental Implants
If you are considering dental implants and have bone loss, it is important to work with a qualified dental professional who has experience with dental implant surgery. This will help ensure the best possible outcome and minimize complications.
Schedule a consultation with a qualified dentist or oral surgeon to learn more about your candidacy for dental implants and explore your options. At Hanna Dental, our double board-certified doctor and experienced team will provide personalized care to get the smile you’ve always wanted.
What happens if you don’t have enough bone for dental implants?
If you don’t have enough bone for dental implants, your dentist may recommend a bone grafting procedure to rebuild the bone. Bone grafting involves using synthetic or your own bone, securing it to the jawbone, thus providing a strong foundation for the implant.
How much bone loss is too much for implants?
Although there is no exact amount of bone loss that is too much for implants, typically, if there is less than 10 mm of bone available, implants may not be the best option. However, your dentist may recommend alternative treatments depending on the severity of your bone loss.
What are the best implants for bone loss in teeth?
The best implants for bone loss in teeth are specifically designed for bone loss cases. These implants are designed to be longer and wider than standard dental implants, which will help to provide a stronger foundation to support the implant.
When is a dental implant not possible?
A dental implant may not be possible if there is extensive bone loss, damage or if your jawbone cannot support the implant. In these cases, alternative treatments, such as dentures, bridges, or crowns, may be recommended. We encourage you to seek advice if you’re in this situation, even if you have been told you don’t have enough bone. In many cases, our skilled specialists are still able to do the implants.
Are you suffering from bone loss and wondering if you can still get dental implants?
Bone loss can be caused by periodontal disease, trauma, or aging. Despite this, dental implants may still be a viable option for those with bone loss, as the implant can be placed in areas with existing bone or with bone grafting.
If you’re considering getting dental implants and have bone loss, contact the experienced team at Hanna Dental Implant Center.