Dental implant procedures have been growing in popularity and availability over the course of the last 20 years. Sometimes a fractured tooth or one that has suffered from severe decay simply cannot be saved.
The root of a dental implant is made from titanium, which is a substance that does not irritate gum tissue and also fuses to the bone through a process known as osseointegration. This is especially helpful with teeth that have been extracted, since most extractions also take a significant part of the bone structure around the root of the tooth.
If you have a tooth extracted without replacing it with some form of structure, the surrounding teeth will begin to move or even turn in an attempt to fill the gap. This can potentially create problems with your smile and the way your teeth bite together.
If you had a significant amount of bone removed during your extraction, the treatment might require a bone graft. This is even more likely if you have had issues with periodontal disease in the past.
In these cases, a bone graft procedure will need to be done six to nine months before the dental implant procedure. During the procedure, a small amount of bone is taken from another part of your body, usually your chin, and surgically implanted into the jawbone. Over the course of time, your body integrates the bone thus providing enough structure to hold the implant.
In most instances, the bone grafting procedure can be performed using only local anesthetic instead of sedation.
After the procedure, you will most likely be prescribed painkillers, anti-inflammatory medication or antibiotics. While the area is healing, you will need to avoid certain foods and stick to soft foods as well as cool beverages. You should also refrain from tobacco use because it irritates the gum tissue and can easily lead to infection.
If you have questions about dental implants and bone grafts, please feel free to call us at 323.266.2120 to schedule an appointment.