Dental Implant FAQ
There are many questions surrounding what to do when tooth loss occurs. It can be a scary and life-changing time. At Atlantic Dentistry we are here for you. We want you to know this does not need to be an uncomfortable or uncertain time in your life. Due to the many advances in dental technology available today, there is no reason to suffer with tooth loss.
What Type of Tooth Restoration Do You Need?
The very first step you should take if you are missing any teeth, is to schedule an appointment with us right away. Missing teeth cause not only pain, discomfort, and possible embarrassment, but many other problems as well. When we have missing teeth we tend to chew differently, as our bite force has changed. This can make eating uncomfortable. The now available space between your other teeth also creates space for bacteria and plaque to harbor, which can only create more problems. At Atlantic Dentistry we recommend scheduling a dental exam and cleaning with us. We will then be able to thoroughly assess what is happening in your mouth, the status of your existing teeth, and what type of dental prosthesis you may need, which could include dental bridges, dental crowns, dentures, or dental implants.
What if I Need Dental Implants But Do Not Qualify as a Good Candidate?
One of the most common questions we receive is from people who need dental implants but do not yet qualify for them. The most common reason this can occur is because there is not enough bone structure to support the implant. Fortunately, if this is the case for you, there are other treatments we can provide to get you ready for a dental implant.
The alveolar ridge is the section of the jawbones that interface with the gums, directly supporting the roots of the teeth. It can sometimes be eroded as a result of tooth loss, decay, gum infection, and other types of dental traumas. In such cases, you might need a ridge augmentation to restore your natural gum line. In some implant procedures, we may implement ridge expansion – a variant of the ridge augmentation procedure – to prop up the jawbone volume for an implant. In this variant, we split the jawbones using surgical instruments and then fill up the rift with bone grafts. All of these will be done under local or general anesthetics, and then we will recommend pain management solutions post-surgery.
Bone grafts are sometimes necessary for dental implant procedures. Dental implants must be inserted into your jawbone and, due to periodontitis and other conditions, you may not have enough of the bone structure left to hold the implant. Bone grafts provide a way to restore bone structure so that we can perform dental implant surgery. There are several types of bone grafts available. Xenografts come from animal sources and, while the surgery carries minimal risk, they do stimulate new bone growth. Autografts are taken from a donor site on your own body. So, this does require two separate surgical sites, but this type of graft does stimulate new bone growth as well.
If you find yourself needing dental implants, know that it is a common oral surgery and if you are not yet a candidate, you soon can be! Please contact us at Atlantic Dentistry to schedule a consultation appointment, so we can help you replace your missing teeth. 904 717-0335