If you have lost some or all of your natural teeth, you may already have heard of dental implants. These small artificial tooth roots provide a long-term solution to tooth loss, and provide unrivalled function and appearance – looking and acting much like natural teeth.
However, if you have experienced bone loss your dentist may have told you that you are unsuitable for treatment with dental implants. Whilst this used to be the case, there are now a number of options available enabling patients with low bone density to reap the benefits of implant treatment.
At Moor Park Dental Centre in London the experienced implantology team are able to treat even complex cases where bone loss has already begun. Referrals are accepted from other dental practices across the capital and beyond.
It is bone shrinkage that causes many of the problems experienced by denture wearers. Loose-fitting dentures can make life a nightmare: it becomes impossible to eat anything but soft foods, your mouth can become sore where dentures rub on your gums, speech can be impeded, and social life can suffer severely as confidence plummets. Activities such as Sunday lunch with the family or a cream tea treat with friends become a chore and a source of embarrassment rather than a pleasure, because of the constant fear your dentures might fall out in public.
If you are currently experiencing some or all of these denture woes, help is available. In many cases it is still possible for an experienced implant dentist to place dental implants. You will simply need to undergo an additional bone grafting procedure instead.
A bone graft involves using either bone from elsewhere in a patient’s jaw/body, donor bone of human or animal origin, or synthetic, calcium-rich, bone-like material to rebuild levels of bone density to levels suitable to support dental implants.
For the upper jaw, a procedure called a sinus lift is sometimes used. This involves lifting and packing the sinus cavity with bone graft material. In both cases the material merges with the bone and, after a few months, provides strong support for dental implants.
Whilst this adds a few months to implant treatment, most people agree it is worth the wait.