Dr. William Griffin is here blogging today from City Center Dental Care in Newport News, VA to explain to patients that suffer from osteoporosis what steps they should take to qualify for dental implants in the future. Osteoporosis is a condition in which the body does not produce new bone to replace old bone removal and causes the bones to become weak and brittle over time. Patients that suffer from this bone deficiency disease may also suffer from a missing tooth or teeth as a result of dental neglect, or even medication side- effects. Although this disease can complicate one’s qualification for dental implants, if patients have consulted their doctor for proper medication, all hope is not lost.
As many patients know, in order for people to be considered positive candidates for implant dentistry they must possess a sufficient amount, strength and structure of bone in the jaw and tissue in the gums. For patients that unfortunately have to deal with a disease that decreases their bone density, this can be a complication. For these patients we suggest a bone graft procedure, a soft tissue augmentation procedure, or possibly both.
A bone graft is a bone tissue transplant that allows the doctor to replace damaged or fractured bone with new and healthy osseous tissue to regain strength in the jaw. Most times the bone will be extracted from the patient’s own hip or animal bone is sometimes used for the procedure. During the recovery period the new jawbone will integrate with the oral system to become a natural jaw structure that the patient can rely on for years to come. This period, depending on the amount of bone needed and the extent of the damage, can last up to a few months. Once the patient has healed from this procedure, they will have the sufficient strength and frame of osseous tissue for the dental implantation procedure.
Soft tissue augmentations are needed when the patient has a lack of tissue in the gum area. This can occur due to the loss of a tooth or teeth over time; the gum tissue weakens when the patient avoids using it to chew and bite. Just like any other physical body part we possess, we need to exercise and move in order for them to stay healthy and toned. Gum tissue, contrary to what people think, works the same way. Neglected gums can develop infections, diseases, or can even disappear over time. Throughout a soft tissue augmentation procedure, the doctor will extract excess soft tissue from the roof of the mouth and place it in the gum area gently to rebuild the area. Patients do not take more than a few weeks to recover from this simple and quick procedure, but they must follow the dentist’s directions explicitly.
After the patient has healed from one or both of the procedures and the dentist has approved their progress appropriate to begin the stages of dental implantation, they will be ready for the dental implant placement. The doctor will make small incisions into the gum area where the patient is missing teeth and place in the biocompatible, titanium alloy screws into the jawbone. The dentist will then stitch up the gums so they are able to heal around the implant and protect the patient’s tissue naturally. Once these are placed into the mouth a process called osseointegration ensues that allows the mouth to naturally accept the dental implants to function as a part of the oral system, just like the patient’s natural teeth. Osseointegration normally takes the patient 3-6 months to complete in order for the mouth to completely embrace the artificial tooth roots as real teeth.
The patient is able to bite, chew, speak and smile with strong teeth that are comprised of non- decay material for years to come. Although dental implants require no excessive maintenance, patients must care for them as they would their real teeth. Implant dentistry provides patients with confidence, complete smiles, flawless teeth, comfortability and ease. This is the leading tooth loss solution for all patients that have missing teeth, even those with bone deficiency diseases.
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If you suffer from osteoporosis, but have a missing tooth or teeth, consult Dr. William Griffin immediately to receive dental implants. Supplemental procedures such a bone and gum grafts can provide patients with bone deficiency diseases the option of having great oral and dental health for the rest of their lives. If you have handled your unfortunate disease, please give us a call at City Center Dental Care at (757) 745- 1003 today.