Dental implants are a popular and effective way to replace missing teeth. This innovative treatment plan involves placing a small titanium implant in the jaw where it fuses with the bone and creates a solid anchor for a restoration such as a crown, bridge or full denture.
However, not everyone is a candidate for dental implants due to insufficient bone density. In this article, we will explore the impact of bone density on dental implants and what options are available for those who do not have sufficient bone density.
What is bone density, and why is it important for dental implants?
Bone density is a measure of the strength and mass of bones. It is an important factor in dental implants because the implant must fuse with the bone in order for it to be successful. If there is not enough bone density, the implant may not fuse properly or may even fail altogether.
There are several factors that can affect bone density, including:
Age – Bone density usually peaks around age 30 and then begins to decline.
Gender – Women are more likely than men to have osteoporosis, a condition that can lead to low bone density.
Family history – If your parents or grandparents have had osteoporosis, you may be more likely to develop the condition.
Tooth loss – When there is a gap in your smile, your jawbone can shrink.
How can you determine your bone density?
Your dentist can determine your bone density through a simple test called a panoramic radiograph. This x-ray gives your dentist a clear view of your entire jaw and can help them to assess your suitability for dental implants. This is a pain-free treatment that is completely non-invasive. It's an essential part of the dental implant treatment journey as it helps to give your dentist a complete view of your teeth and jaws.
What are the consequences of low bone density?
If you have low bone density, it does not necessarily mean that you cannot get dental implants. However, it does mean that you may need to undergo a different treatment plan in order to improve your chances of success. You can either take steps to increase bone density, or you can change the treatment plan so that bone density isn't as much of a deciding factor.
What are the options if you have insufficient bone density?
There are several options available if you have insufficient bone density:
Bone grafting is a surgical procedure where healthy bone tissue is taken from another area of your body and transplanted to the jaw. This can help to increase bone density and improve your chances of success with dental implants. You can also have cadaver bone, artificial bone, or bone from an animal placed in your jaw to increase the density.
A sinus lift is a surgical procedure that is performed to raise the sinus floor and add height to the jaw bone. This can be done at the same time as a bone graft, or it can be done as a separate procedure.
A ridge expansion is a surgical procedure that is performed to widen the jawbone. This is usually done in cases where there is not enough bone to support dental implants.
With this treatment plan for All-on-4 dental implants, longer implants are used. These implants are placed at an angle and secure to the zygomatic bone, also known as the cheekbone. This is one treatment option available if you decide not to have a bone graft. It is commonly used for full arch restorations.
If you have been putting off getting dental implants because you have been told you have insufficient bone density, get in touch with our team today. Arrange a free consultation to learn how we can place dental implants, even with low bone density.
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