As we have said before, not every patient initially qualifies for treatment with dental implants. Some patients are held back from the treatment because their jaw structure is not strong enough to provide the foundation needed to support implants. The most common reasons for why a patient’s mouth may not be strong enough to support implants are jawbone deterioration and gum recession, both of which can be consequences of missing teeth. Fortunately, patients who are suffering from one or both of these conditions can still have access to treatment with dental implants; they will simply need a supplemental procedure before they can have their implant fixture(s) placed. We encourage you to read on to learn more about these conditions and how Dr. Barry Cohen can reverse the damage done by them.
Jawbone Deterioration and Its Effects
Not many people are actually aware of the fact that it is possible for their jawbone to deteriorate. Much like a muscle, your jawbone requires constant exercising in order to maintain itself. Generally, this exercise comes from chewing food and speaking with other people. These activities cause vibrations, which travel from your teeth, down your tooth roots, and into your jawbone. When you lose a tooth, the area of the jawbone that tooth was connected to is no longer getting proper stimulation, and will begin to deteriorate as a result.
Unfortunately, jawbone deterioration will have a larger effect on your life than simply meaning you will not be able to have a dental implant placed. Because your jawbone plays a large part in supporting the structure of your face, you will notice some changes to your facial appearance if your jawbone deterioration is allowed to progress. For instance, patients with jawbone deterioration tend to develop a sunken appearance as a result of their cheeks hollowing. It is also common for the skin directly around the lips of patients suffering from jawbone deterioration to prematurely wrinkle.
What is Bone Grafting?
For patients who are suffering from jawbone deterioration, we will be able to reverse the damage done by this condition using a treatment called bone grafting. Bone grafting is a procedure that takes bone tissue from another source and grafts it to the deficient areas of your jawbone. Because of the fact that the jawbone is naturally able to regenerate itself, it will be able to heal around this new tissue, taking these tissues and integrating them into itself, restoring strength and density to the jawbone.
Just like your jawbone can deteriorate, so too can your gums. In fact, your gums can begin to recede for many different reasons. For instance, gum recession is a common result for patients who don’t brush their teeth and patients who brush their teeth too hard. Both of these habits can wear at your gums, causing them to pull away from your teeth and recede. Another common reason for gum recession is periodontal disease, which creates an infection in your gums that slowly eats away at the structure.
Soft Tissue Augmentation
Just like we have a way to reverse the damage caused by jawbone deterioration, so too do we have one for gum recession. We can provide our patients suffering from gum recession with soft tissue augmentation, which takes new gum tissue and grafts it to the deficient areas of your gums. Your gums will then heal around this new tissue, using it to restore itself.
For the most part, supplemental treatments are performed directly before the implant is placed, usually during the same surgery (see “The Dental Implant Procedure“). However, some patients have more severe cases of these conditions, and they may need to have their supplemental treatments performed months in advance of their implant placement surgery. This is so that these patients can allow their mouth to heal following the procedure before having their implants placed.
Learn More at our Drexel Hill Office
If you would like to pursue treatment with dental implants but are unsure of whether or not you will require a supplemental treatment beforehand, then contact our office and schedule a free no-obligation consultation with Dr. Barry Cohen today. We look forward to helping you achieve a smile you will love soon! We proudly serve patients in the Drexel Hill, Upper Darby, Havertown, Springfield, and Broomall areas.