When it comes to replacing lost teeth, dental implants offer many advantages when compared to other replacement methods. Unlike dentures, dental implants are permanent and closely mimic biological oral function below and above the gum line.
For the implant process to be successful, patients need enough bone mass in their jaw(s) to support implants. Before the use of bone grafting, some patients with bone loss were ineligible for receiving dental implants. Fortunately, our oral surgeon performs bone grafting treatments to help increase dental implant success among patients with bone loss.
How do dental implants work?
Unlike a removable prosthetic like a denture or a permanent bridge that rests on tops of the gums, dental implants go beneath the surface of the gum line to replace a lost tooth’s roots. Using a titanium post with a texture that resembles a screw, our oral surgeon will embed the post directly into the jawbone. Over time, once bone has fused around the titanium post, the implant will function like a tooth’s root and will anchor a prosthetic crown in place. Once the implant has stabilized in the jaw, the artificial crown will be attached to an abutment, completing the tooth replacement process. The crown will fill in the empty tooth socket and is made to specifications for your exact needs.
When is bone grafting needed?
When patients lack the bone mass to support the titanium post, a bone graft may be required. This procedure is performed by an oral surgeon. Bone grafting involves taking bone from another region of the body such as the hip. This bone will then be grafted surgically to the area where more bone is required. Before the dental implant process begins, our oral surgeons will monitor the success of the bone graft before embedding a dental implant.
If you have missing teeth or would like to learn more about your tooth replacement options, we welcome you to schedule a consultation with our practice. Call the office of Dr. Richard Miller at 405-624-1300 today to reserve your appointment.