Implant Supported Dentures Can Restore an Attractive, Functional Smile

dental implants dentures benefits

Implant Supported Dentures Can Restore an Attractive, Functional Smile

When adult teeth are lost due to injury, damage, or decay, there are a number of oral health consequences. Oral functions are likely to become difficult or painful, the health and structure of adjacent teeth become compromised, and the jaw bone may begin to lose density. On top of this, the appearance of the smile is obviously affected, leaving many embarrassed to laugh, smile, or show their teeth in any way. Fortunately, there are many solutions that allow patients to restore the health and beauty of the smile. Implant Supported  Dentures are a healthy restorative treatment for patients who have lost some or all of their teeth. However, because of the reputation dentures have for being ill-fitting and unnatural looking, many are hesitant to undergo this form of treatment. With dental implants, Dr. Steve Brown offers patients a more secure and attractive solution than traditional dentures to his Fort Worth patients.

Am I a Candidate for Implant Supported Dentures?

In the simplest of terms, if you are missing most or all of your teeth, then you are likely candidate for implant supported dentures. Dentures come in either partial or complete sets so that they can replace a group of teeth, an entire arch of teeth, or even a complete set of teeth. Implant Supported Dentures address tooth loss in order to restore oral function, comfort, and confidence to our patients. Patients who have experienced any of the following side effects of tooth loss should consider this treatment:

  • Difficulty chewing, eating, or speaking
  • A loss of density in the jaw bone
  • A noticeable change to facial structure
  • A shifting or caving in of remaining natural teeth
  • A decrease in self-confidence

Dr. Brown believes in offering his patients only the best dental treatments, so when addressing these concerns, he opts to provide patients with implant supported dentures rather than traditional dentures. Implant dentures are affixed to the jaw bone in order to provide patients with the most secure and comfortable fit. Traditionally, patients who undergo dental implant treatment must have a significant amount of bone density in order to adequately support the implants. However, we offer a variety of dental implant techniques including the following:

Because we offer all types of implants, we can meet the specific oral health needs of each of our patients, making virtually any patient who has experienced significant tooth loss a great candidate for dental implant dentures.

Benefits of Implant Supported Dentures

Implant supported dentures offer patients all of the benefits of traditional dentures, which include increased comfort, improved oral function, as well as an aesthetic improvement to the smile. However, they go beyond the benefits of traditional dentures and also offer a superior level of comfort, security, and confidence.

  • They remove the need for adhesives.
  • They drastically reduce slippage, offering a firmer fit.
  • They offer even greater comfort, taking stress off of your gums.
  •  The dental implants stimulate the jaw bone so that healthy tissue is preserved and the new tissue growth is promoted.

Schedule an Appointment

At The Dental Implant Place, Dr. Steve Brown and his team provide patients with the most advanced dental treatments, allowing for the restoration of a smile that is fully functional and naturally beautiful. If you have suffered from tooth loss and would like to learn more about your restorative treatment options, schedule an appointment at your earliest convenience to hear more about the dental implant difference. We look forward to hearing from you!

What are Dental Implants Dentures

dentures dental implants

It’s common knowledge that dental implants can be used to retain and support a set of dentures. In fact, one of the most asked-for products that we provide for our patients at The Dental Implant Place is dental implants dentures (sometimes called implant-supported dentures). Here are the most common questions we are asked about this procedure.

How Does a Denture Work With Implants?

Dental implants are small titanium rods that act as tooth roots in your bone and gums. They also act as anchors for new, artificial teeth to be placed on top of them. The implants will stay in your mouth permanently. In our Fort Worth office, we will design your new denture ourselves in our in-house dental lab, and we will design this prosthesis so that you can snap it onto and off of your implants.

Why Are They Removable Instead of Permanently Fixed?

While some offices and practices design a denture that cannot be removed (except by a dentist), we believe it’s better for you that you be able to take it on and off of your implants. Why? Because bacteria and food can and will get trapped underneath your dentures, and so their daily cleaning is vital to both their longevity and the health of your gums. Permanently fixing a set of dentures to your dental implants makes it far more difficult to clean them effectively.

Another reason we make this type of prosthesis removable is because dentures are made out of acrylic and are far more likely to need repairs and adjustments than harder ceramic materials such as zirconia (the material our office uses to make fixed crowns and bridges). These repairs will be far more convenient for the patient if the prosthesis can be removed easily.

Can I Use My Existing Dentures With My New Implants?

It is possible that your existing set can be anchored by your implants temporarily, but this is not feasible in the long-run. This is because a traditional denture is not made to function with dental implants and will be too fragile to withstand the pressure. We will need to make you a new set;designed with implant application in mind. However, it may be possible to use your current dentures as a temporary set of teeth for you to wear from the time you get your implants to when you get your final set of implant retained dentures (a period usually lasting 6-8 weeks). When possible, this can save you money. Call our office for more information on how this works.

Am I A Candidate For Dental Implants Dentures?

Schedule your consultation with Dr. Brown now and find out if you’re a candidate for this procedure. As a dentist with over twenty five years of experience and over six thousand dental implants placed, he is exceptionally qualified to assess your needs and give you the answers you’re looking for.

photo credit Rupert-Taylor Price, Flickr creative commons

Denture Pain and Other Signs of Ill-fitting Dentures

dentures pain discomfort

For those who suffer from missing teeth, dentures are a great option to restore dental function, but when dentures are ill-fitting, they can be more cumbersome and painful than they’re worth. Properly fitting dentures are imperative to proper dental function and comfort. If you believe your dentures are ill-fitting, schedule a consultation with Fort Worth dentist Steve Brown. In the meantime, learn the signs of ill-fitting dentures with this overview.

Pain and Discomfort

Denture pain and discomfort is the biggest sign of ill-fitting dentures. Properly fitting dentures shouldn’t be painful but should fit comfortably during daily use. Ill-fitting dentures can cause pain for a number of reasons. Slipping and sliding dentures can cause gum irritation. The tongue and cheeks may also become sore from constantly trying to keep the dentures in place.

Oral Sores

Oral sores may develop from poorly fitting dentures. Sores are often a result of the friction of dentures rubbing back and forth within the mouth. Oral sores caused by dentures can make eating painful both from the repeated rubbing of the dentures and from food and drinks coming into contact with wounds. It is important to treat these sores to avoid oral infections.

Difficulty With Speaking

Ill-fitting dentures can slip and slide, making speaking difficult. The most common speech problem for those who suffer with ill-fitting dentures is slurred speech. Another speech issue is speaking through a clenched mouth. When dentures fit loosely, it can cause the wearer to clench their mouth to try to keep the dentures from falling out while talking.

Changes In Weight

Ill-fitting dentures can affect weight by making it painful to eat. Some denture wearers may skip meals due to the pain of eating, causing weight loss. In some cases, patients may gain weight due to ill-fitting dentures. This is common among those who opt for eating soft, fatty foods like ice cream to avoid the chewing needed for healthier foods like broccoli or apples.

Correcting Ill-Fitting Dentures

In some cases, ill-fitting dentures can be more detrimental to oral health than not wearing dentures. Ill-fitting dentures can make eating and speaking difficult and frustrating, as well as cause constant mouth sores, which are vulnerable to infection. If you suffer from ill-fitting dentures, it is important to have the problem corrected. Properly fitting dentures allow people with missing teeth to eat in comfort and smile with confidence. Correction of ill-fitting dentures requires the expertise of a dentist. Sometimes, dentures are easily fixed with minor filing; in other cases, new dentures will need to be made.

You can help improve your denture wearing experience by having your dentist check the fit of your dentures, using dental adhesives to reduce sliding, or choosing implant-supported dentures. Implant-supported dentures use three to five dental implants to secure the dentures in place. Implant-supported dentures eliminate the problem of slipping and sliding and allow denture wearers to eat their favorite foods without fear of the dentures dislodging.

Schedule a Consultation

Dentures shouldn’t be painful or cumbersome. They should allow you to eat in comfort and to smile with confidence. To learn more about dental implants and how to manage denture pain, schedule a consultation with Dr. Brown.

The Different Types of Dental Implants

kinds of dental implants, mini implant

We are often asked in our Fort Worth office about what kinds of dental implants we place. All dental implants are made out of similar material – titanium or titanium alloy, and while there are slight differences in the design between manufacturers, the majority of difference in implants comes in the size of diameter. So when asked what size of implants we place in our office, the answer is simple: all of them. Our philosophy is to choose the implant that is right for the patient’s available bone, rather than try to alter their bone to fit the preferred implant.

When discussing dental implant types, there can be a lot of confusion. To help explain the differences, we’ve provided a short guide that will clarify what these differences mean for you.

Traditional Dental Implants

Also referred to as “standard-size” implants, traditional implants range in size from around three millimeters to eight millimeters. The larger (or thicker in diameter) the implant, the more invasive the procedure is to place it. Traditional implants almost always have multiple parts, which make them much more expensive to purchase, and this price gets passed on to the total cost of the treatment plan. This category of implants is the most widely used by oral surgeons and periodontists. At the Dental Implant Place, we do place this kind of implant when it is needed, but many people simply do not have enough bone for the larger implant.

Small Diameter Implants

Sometimes confused with mini implants, small diameter implants are smaller than traditional implants (they are between two and three millimeters) but slightly larger in diameter than mini implants. This type of implant also offers the minimally invasive convenience of minis while providing a generally more stable base for dentures, crowns, and bridges. The majority of implants in this category are only one-piece and therefore less expensive. This is the type of dental implant that we place most often in our Fort Worth office, as we usually find it to offer the strength and stability of the traditional implant AND the minimally invasiveness and cost advantages of a smaller size.

Mini Implants

The smallest dental implant available in dentistry is the mini implant, which is two millimeters or less in diameter. Mini implants are gaining popularity worldwide due to their more affordable cost (when compare with standard implants) and smaller size. We sometimes use this size of implants when the available bone is minimal.

Why We Offer All Types of Implants

While most oral surgeons and dentists place only one category of dental implant, the fact of the matter is that the type of implant that’s right for you depends on your unique, specific bone structure. Some patients, for example, may not have enough bone in their jaw for a traditional-sized implant, and placing an implant that is too large could cause sinus damage or worse. They may need small diameter dental implants in order to retain their osseous tissue. Other patients may even need a combination of traditional and mini dental implants in order to have a firm foundation for their denture or bridge.

As the founder of The Dental Implant Place, Dr. Steve Brown is a dentist with exceptional experience and skill (he’s placed over 8,000 in the course of his career). He is capable of placing any classification of implant, and he recommends placing the specific type that is right for your specific bone structure with an eye on maintaining the minimally invasive approach.

Schedule Your Free Consultation Today

For more information on all dental implant types and which are right for you, call our Fort Worth office. We’d be happy to answer your questions and set up your visit with Dr. Brown, where you can learn more about your options and take the next step towards restoring your quality of life. Your smile is here at The Dental Implant Place, and we look forward to seeing you.


photo credit Mike Stanley, Flickr creative commons

Can Bruxism Affect Dental Implant Success Rates?

qualify for dental implants

Dental implants are an increasingly popular way to permanently and securely replace missing teeth. With optimum care, dental implants can last a lifetime, though the prosthetic tooth or teeth that are attached to the implant may need to be replaced at some point. There are, however, some situations that can significantly diminish your dental implant’s life span. Bruxism is one habit that can critically damage your dental implants. By understanding bruxism and what it can do, you can better care for your dental implants and enjoy more long lasting success.

What Is Bruxism?

You may know bruxism better by its more common name: chronic tooth grinding. This is a condition characterized by the unconscious clenching and grinding together of your teeth, most often at night while you are asleep. Tooth grinding can be damaging to your natural teeth, wearing them down over time and causing cracks and more serious damage. The constant force and motion of the condition can also cause jaw pain during your waking hours.

Can Bruxism Affect the Success of My Dental Implants?

If you have had dental implants placed, chronic tooth grinding can also have a negative effect on your dental work. Tooth grinding can wear away at artificial teeth just as easily as natural teeth, causing your crowns, bridges, or dentures to become damaged to the point of replacement well before their time.

Bruxism can also hinder your dental implant success rate by directly interfering with your body’s ability to recover and heal. Dental implants are titanium posts that are, as the name suggests, implanted directly into the patient’s jawbone. Over a period of months, these posts are intended to fuse with the jawbone through a physiological process called osseointegration. Teeth grinding, however, can exert excess pressure and movement to these implants on a nightly basis. This can prevent the implants from properly taking hold and integrating with the jawbone, leading to implant failure.

Can I Still Receive Dental Implants if I Grind My Teeth?

It is certainly possible to have dental implants placed if you suffer from bruxism. However, this may depend on the severity of your condition. If your tooth grinding is mild to moderate, your dentist may be able to fit you with a custom mouth guard to wear at night that can help to guard your teeth and dental implants against damage. In cases where psychological issues like anxiety are the underlying root cause behind your bruxism, on the other hand, learning stress relief techniques during your waking hours can alleviate your symptoms that manifest at night.

If your dentist determines that your bruxism is not responding to treatment, he may recommend starting with another option such as a dental bridge.

Learn More about Bruxism and Dental Implant Management Today

If you suffer from chronic tooth grinding, you still have the right to the confident and beautiful smile you want. With the guidance of a knowledgeable restorative dentistry and dental implant team, you can better understand your situation and the best treatment plans for you. Contact Steve Brown, DDS, at the Dental Implant Place to schedule an appointment and learn more about your options for dental implants today.

The Link between Smoking and Dental Implant Failure

smoking dental implants success rate

When you undergo surgery for any reason, some risk factors can be particularly dangerous to your health and the ultimate success of your treatment. Smoking and tobacco use is one such factor that should always be avoided as much as possible, but this is particularly true of oral surgery.When patients have dental implants installed, for instance, both the surgery itself and the recovery process require gum and underlying bone tissue to be as healthy as possible. Abstinence from smoking is therefore a necessity for at least part of the dental implant treatment process in order to avoid dental implant failure. To fully understand how smoking can negatively affect the results of your implants, see the information provided below by our Fort Worth dental practice.

What Is Implant Failure?

The reason dental implants are so effective is because, like the roots of real teeth, they integrate naturally into gum and bone tissue. This provides implants with strength and stability, and allows them to feel and function just like a normal tooth would. This also means that an implant must take time to heal with surrounding bone tissues in a process called osseointegration. During osseointegration, it is vital that the mouth and jaw are healthy and free of disease. If any disease or infection does form, it can impede the healing process and prevent the implant from properly integrating into the mouth. This dental implant failure is referred to as peri-implantitis, and it poses a risk not just to your new implants, but also to your dental health in general.

Smoking and Peri-Implantitis

The reasons that smoking is bad for one’s dental health are essentially the same reasons why it can cause implant failure. Namely, smoking lowers the effectiveness of one’s immune system and promotes the spread of gum disease. Either or both of these risks are primary reasons for peri-implantitis.

After oral surgery, there is a low risk of infection that can usually be avoided through proper rest and post-operative care. When caught early, inflammation or infection may not even result in implant failure, as patients can quickly combat it through antibiotics and professional care. Both the risk and severity of infection are elevated, however, when patients smoke throughout the treatment process. Even if infection is detected and treated, any prescribed antibiotics will likely have a reduced effect due to tobacco use.

Gum disease poses a similar risk to dental implants that is elevated through smoking. Gum disease, or periodontal disease, is an inflammation of the gums that normally results in a receding gum line, loose or tender gums, pockets of infection, and increasingly exposed teeth. When gum tissue also needs to heal around an implant, the presence of disease can prevent healing and, if not treated, continue to spread through soft and hard tissues. If gum disease also infects bone tissue, it progresses into periodontitis, which can result in gradual bone loss and eventual tooth loss. Needless to say, any degree of gum disease is a significant risk to the success of dental implants.

Instructions for Smoking Cessation

When you meet with your dentist to discuss any upcoming implant surgery, you will be given instructions regarding when to stop smoking. In many cases, patients are instructed to stop smoking completely for at least one week prior to surgery and for at least a month following surgery. Some patients may be asked to begin cessation as long as one month in advance, continuing throughout the rest of their recovery. Of course, the more one abstains from tobacco, the better his or her chances of success will be, and recovery will be made easier and shorter overall.

Speak with Dr. Steve Brown

The best way to increase your success is to consult a dentist with a wealth of knowledge and experience with dental implants. Dr. Steve Brown, founder and lead practitioner of The Dental Implant Place, is happy to meet with you to discuss your dental goals and help you on the path to a full, healthy smile. Schedule a consultation to learn more about the benefits of implant dentistry.

Avoiding Infection after Dental Implant Surgery

infection after dental implants

As stable and durable as natural tooth roots, dental implants have become a natural choice to permanently replace teeth that have been lost to injury or decay. But successful dental implant surgery depends as much on proper aftercare as the surgery itself. At The Dental Implant Place, Steve Brown, DDS, has provided hundreds of Fort Worth patients with dental implant surgery; he also equips them with the knowledge and tools to avoid infections and ensure that their implants perform to their utmost potential.

How Can I Avoid Infection After My Dental Implant Surgery?

As with any surgery, the threat of infection is one of the biggest risks during the post oral surgery healing process. There are several precautions that a dental implant patient can take to help prevent infections and promote an optimal healing environment.

  • Take Care With Foods: Starting in on your normal diet immediately after surgery can spell disaster, reopening surgical wounds and making them more vulnerable to infection. Most oral surgeons will recommend a diet of soft foods and liquids for at least several days after surgery. Hard or sharp foods like nuts, which could further damage the surgical site, should be avoided for even longer.
  • Take Your Medicine Properly: If your dentist or oral surgeon decides that it is necessary, he may prescribe a course of antibiotics following your dental implant surgery to prevent infection. If you have been prescribed antibiotics, remember to take the full course in accordance with their instructions. Failure to complete a full course of antibiotics can increase the risk of infection and possibly render the whole treatment ineffective.
  • Maintain Good Oral Hygiene: When it comes to warding off infections, cleanliness is paramount. If the site of surgery is not kept as sterile as possible, bacteria have the chance to flourish. Your dentist or oral surgeon may recommend a mild mouthwash that will not overly dry out your mouth (which can also promote infection), or suggest a simple mix of warm water and salt.
  • Avoid Smoking: All dentists will strongly encourage patients to give up smoking, or using any kind of tobacco product for that matter, while healing after dental implant surgery. The smoke and chemicals can severely irritate gums, which can lead to infection. In addition, smoking can deprive your bloodstream and the site of surgery from much-needed oxygen, slowing down the healing process and prolonging the opportunity for infections to arise while healing. If you smoke regularly, a nicotine patch or other remedy may enable you to quit or significantly reduce the habit.

Learn More about the Dental Implant Surgery Procedure Today

If you have been suffering from the loss of one or more teeth, dental implants can be the best decision you will ever make regarding your dental health and comfort. With proper aftercare and upkeep, dental implants can last you a lifetime.

At The Dental Implant Place, we understand the complexities of dental implant surgery and dental implant infection, and we can help you make the best decisions to ensure the health of your teeth, gums, and dental implants well into the future. Contact Dr. Steve Brown and his team at The Dental Implant Place to schedule an appointment and find out more about dental implant surgery today.

What Are Mini Dental Implants?

mini dental implants fort worth tx

In our Fort Worth office, we are often asked about mini implants: what they are, what makes them unique, whether or not they are effective, and whether or not we place them. The answer is that our dentist, Dr. Steve Brown, places all kinds of implants, but he uses mini implants when they are needed for patients who have the minimal amount of bone available for implant treatment. 

What They Are

Mini dental implants, like all dental implants, are small posts that act as tooth roots: they preserve your bone structure while functioning as an anchor that replacement teeth can either be cemented to (dental crowns or dental bridges) or snapped onto (dentures). They are made of the same materials as other dental implants, which is usually titanium or a titanium alloy. Really, the primary difference between mini dental implants and other implants is their size. Mini implants range from about 1.8-2.0mm, while conventional implants can range from 3.0-6.0mm. It should be noted here that the terms “mini implant” and “small diameter implant” are often used interchangeably. In our Fort Worth office, we use these terms with distinction, as small diameter dental implants can have a slightly wider diameter than mini dental implants (they usually range from 2.2-3.0mm). Nevertheless, this type of implant shares the same functions and advantages of minis, which you can read about below. 

Why They’re Useful

Mini implants and small diameter implants offer the benefit of being minimally invasive. This means that these restoratives cause the least possible amount of surgical stress when they are placed in your jaw. Here are the following advantages to this feature:

  • They can minimize your healing time after surgery
  • They require less bone in order to be placed, making you more likely to qualify.
  • They can help you avoid bone grafting procedures
  • They can shorten the length of your surgery, as they are easier to place

Dr. Brown is capable of placing all types of dental implants. However, his philosophy is to fit and choose your implants in a way that suits your unique oral structure, so he does not limit his practice to the use of only one or two types. If you are suffering from bone loss, then mini implants may be the restorative dental option for your restoring your quality of life.

Contact Us For More Information

Call our Fort Worth office today to schedule your free consultation today with dental implants dentist Dr. Steve Brown. As an experienced dentist who has placed thousands of dental implants, he can help you help you regain your lease on life and determine what restorative treatment is right for you. Your long-term oral health is his concern, and our practice is here to provide you with the information and treatment you need. 

photo credit Valentina Manjarrez

How to Reduce Pain After Dental Implant Surgery

reduced pain dental implants

Because dental implants require surgery, many patients are concerned about the pain that could be associated with the procedure. Fortunately for most patients, recovery is relatively short and the initial discomfort is easily managed. Many people compare the procedure to a tooth extraction or a root canal.

Dr. Steve Brown at the Dental Implant Place in Fort Worth carefully advises his patients on ways to avoid dental implant pain, which can be done with both pain medications and a few simple steps at home. With more than 20 years of experience, he understands the importance of dental implants and oral surgery to restore your dental health.

Dental implant surgery is performed with oral conscious sedation or anesthesia, so the procedure itself is not painful. Once the sedation wears off, you may have some discomfort, but it can usually be managed easily and disappears in just a few days of surgery. The degree of discomfort does vary from person to person and is influenced by several factors, such as an individual’s pain threshold and the extent of surgery. More extensive surgery, such as bone grafts or multiple implants, can increase discomfort and recovery time.

 Minimize Dental Implant Pain

Just as with many dental surgeries, it is common to experience gum or facial swelling, bruising, minor bleeding, soreness at the implant site, and, depending on the location of the implant, discomfort in the cheeks, chin, or under the eye. All your side effects should disappear in a week to ten days.

Following your doctor’s instructions after implant surgery will improve your comfort and speed healing. Some advice to reduce discomfort:

  • Take Pain Medications. You may be prescribed medications or you may take over-the-counter pain medication. An important point about pain medication is that it is better at preventing pain than reducing pain. With that in mind, you should take pain relievers before excessive discomfort sets in. Typically, patients use pain medication for just a few days.
  • Use an Ice Pack. An ice pack will reduce discomfort caused by swelling. The temporary numbing will also reduce discomfort.
  • East Soft Foods. Eating soft foods will reduce the irritation and pressure on your gums and jaw, allowing them to heal quickly. However, even on a diet of soft food, you should chew on the opposite side of your mouth to avoid irritating the implant site.
  • Limit Activity. Immediately after surgery, physical activity can interfere with healing. You should plan on relaxing for the rest of the day after surgery to avoid unnecessary bleeding and discomfort. Then, for the next few days, you should avoid strenuous activity. Light activity, such as walking, is okay, but you should avoid bending over.
  • Report Increased Pain. Your pain should begin to diminish after three days. However, if side effects appear to increase or remain for many days after surgery, this may indicate an infection and you should contact your dentist.

Learn More about Dental Implant Surgery

Dental implant surgery is more extensive than typical dental work, but that doesn’t mean it needs to be overly painful. To learn more detailed information about dental implant surgery and what you can expect during recovery, please call.

Do You Need a Bone Graft before Dental Implants?

bone grafts with dental implants

Dental implants have helped many patients restore lost teeth through the natural support of their jaw and gums. With an implant procedure, patients can eat, speak, and smile again in comfort and confidence, while knowing their dental health has been preserved. Unfortunately, not everyone may be an immediate candidate for implants. A strong, healthy jaw must be able to support them, making it a predominant factor in one’s candidacy.

If you lack the proper jaw structure for implants, a bone graft may be able to aptly prepare you for an implant procedure. With the help of the skilled and trusted dentist of our Fort Worth practice, Dr. Steve Brown, you can take the necessary steps to restoring a full smile.

When Is a Bone Graft Necessary for Implants?

Some patients are able to receive implants as soon as a tooth is lost or extracted, assuming their gums are free of disease and are in good overall health. However, some patients are unable to support implants due to a weakened jaw. This is particularly the case for those who have suffered from years of tooth loss without implants, leading to the gradual loss of bone tissue. For these patients, a bone graft may be necessary to provide an ample base for implants to be installed.

If you decide during or after your first consultation that you would  dental implants, Dr. Brown will take CT scan images of your teeth and jaw. This will help him determine whether you are a good candidate and, if so, how the implants can best be installed. In the event your jaw appears to have inadequate bone mass, you may be recommended for a bone graft procedure.

How Does a Bone Graft Work?

If you elect to undergo bone graft surgery, you must first decide on the source of graft tissue. Typically, a patient’s own bone tissue results in the most reliable graft, which can be obtained from the hip, shin, chin, or other regions. Alternatively, an oral surgeon may have access to donor tissue, animal tissue, or synthetic tissue. Once this is decided, the procedure can be scheduled and will proceed as follows:

  • General anesthesia or a combination of local anesthesia and sedation will be used prior to surgery.
  • An incision will be made in the gum where an implant is to be placed. The gum will then be separated from the underlying bone, to expose the area for grafting.
  • The graft tissue will be placed over the existing bone, often held in place with a screw or a special membrane that will eventually dissolve.
  • The incision will be sutured over the graft, leaving it to heal naturally with the jaw.

After surgery, you will likely receive antibiotics and pain medication to help ensure a more comfortable and successful recovery.

Bone Graft Osseointegration

After a week or two of recovery, side effects and discomfort from surgery should be largely resolved. Nevertheless, it typically requires between four and 12 months for the jaw to fully heal. Through natural osseointegration, the preexisting bone must fuse with the graft in order to provide adequate support for implants. Most of this process will not interfere with a patient’s daily lifestyle, and will not even be felt after the initial recovery stage. Still, it is a good idea during these months to be extra vigilant in one’s hygiene, and to avoid injuring the jaw through excessive stress or physical trauma.

Are You a Candidate for Dental Implants?

To find out whether you are a good candidate for dental implants, schedule a consultation at our cosmetic dentistry office today. In the event you require a bone graft or additional treatment prior to implant surgery, we will help you receive the right treatment for the most successful implant procedure possible.Contact our office for more information or to set up an appointment.