New teeth for no bone, is it possible?
For a long time, patients who have lost some or all of their teeth had dentures as their only option to replace their missing teeth. Ever since the introduction of dental implants, more and more patients in Milwaukee, WI are opting for this more permanent solution. However promising it may be, unfortunately dental implants has its limits and is largely dependent on the height of the jaw bones of patients with missing teeth.
This presents a problem to long-time denture wearers who have lost a significant amount of bone mass over the years of not having teeth. Our natural tooth also functions to preserve the bone mass of the area where the root is anchored to. The constant pressure on the jaw that is created by the tooth when it grinds and chews stimulates the jaw bone and helps it maintain its height. The loss of the tooth and wearing dentures for a long time results to loss of bone mass which makes it impossible for patients to get dental implants installed.
With the help of developments in dental technology, it is now possible for patients with insufficient bone mass to have a new set of teeth that natural looking and permanent. The primary goal is to recreate the jawbone in patients who have insufficient bone mass to hold a dental implant.
Patients with one or some missing teeth will benefit from a bone graft to build up the jaw bone and make it possible for the dental implant to be surgically placed. But for patients with the entire upper or lower row of teeth missing, bridging the entire line of teeth with a permanent solution can be very challenging.
What procedures can be used to recreate the jaw bone?
There are several dental techniques that can be employed to recreate the patient’s jawbone and make it possible for them to get dental implants as shown below:
Without the need for an extensive bone grafting procedure, our team of experts at the Hampton Dental Associates have found a way to provide a permanent solution to a full row of missing teeth through a special bridge product that is patterned after the cantilever design.
A cantilever bridge is the best choice in replacing the missing teeth of a patient who does not have sufficient bone mass to hold dental implants. Traditionally a dental bridge uses 2 dental crowns or abutments on both of its ends to hold the bridge and the gap in between is filled with artificial teeth or pontics. Traditional bridges are not ideal for patients with insufficient bone mass and will require more areas to be rebuilt with bone grafting procedures.
Using the cantilever designed bridge, we are able to extend the bridge and replace a full row of missing teeth and provide a secure fit by just anchoring the appliance on one end. The implant on one end of the cantilever bridge can be placed strategically in areas where there is sufficient bone mass. It can be made to appear longer than the amount of the remaining bone structure that the patient has and can provide the normal bite and function as the patient’s natural teeth.
Ridge Split Bone Augmentation
The ridge split technique has also proven very effective in rebuilding the patient’s jaw bone in cases of severe bone loss. This will benefit patients who needs to have their bone ridge expanded when it is not wide enough to support the dental implants.
This procedure is done under local anesthesia and involves using a special dental saw to split the patient’s jaw along the ridge. Bone graft material will then be packed into the space. The new bone is allowed to heal for several months after which a dental implant procedure can already be performed.
What can patients expect after the jawbone has been recreated?
Patients will be provided temporary implants to use where temporary dentures can be attached to so that they will not go toothless as we wait for the permanent implants or the bone grafting procedures to heal.
After a few months, the dental implants would have completely healed and patients can already be fitted with their cantilever bridge frames and patients can have this fabricated into their final porcelain bridge. As patients wait for their final porcelain dentures, they will be provided with temporary teeth replacements as adjustments are made to their final porcelain dentures. Regular fittings and adjustments will be made to make sure that we achieve the perfect bite as well as a very proportion and natural looking appearance for your final appliance, and once we achieved the perfect fit, your final porcelain denture will be fabricated.
Once the patient receives their final porcelain dentures, the normal appearance of their teeth and its function will be fully restored. Whichever technique you prefer in recreating your jawbone, we can ensure that we will finally make it possible for you to have a permanent solution to your missing teeth.
Are There Any Drawbacks to a Cantilever Bridge?
Cantilever bridges may put excessive stress on the adjacent tooth or teeth, which may lead to undue wear and tear, weakening them over time. If your teeth are already weakened due to dental caries, Dr. Winter will discuss other restorative options.
When Is Ridge Split Bone Augmentation Necessary?
If patients lack an adequate amount of bone width to accommodate dental implants, a ridge split bone augmentation may be necessary. Dr. Winter will examine your mouth to determine if you are eligible for ridge split augmentation. If not, he will discuss all of your other dental options to replace missing teeth.
What Are Different Grafting Options?
Sometimes screws called tent screw grafts are placed to hold additional bone. Othertimes titanium re-inforced membranes are used to hold bone in place while grafting is occuring. Also block grafts can be used where bone is taken from the back of the jaw, chin, or wisdom tooth area to have a large defect grafted.
How Do Missing Teeth Affect My Facial Structure?
When missing teeth are not replaced, this can cause a sunken appearance and also cause you to look older than you are.
Do Missing Teeth Affect My Jawbone Health?
Yes, having missing teeth can cause your jaw bone to lose density and possibly start deteriorating. Over time, this can negatively affect your ability to have dental implants placed. Bone loss also can lead to nerve exposure. Once too much bone is gone, patients can get zingers or nerve shocks where food or dentures can press on the nerve of the lower jaw causing an electric shock type sensation. So it's very important to consider implants before too much jaw deterioration has occurred.
The best grafting is NO grafting. Treating the area immediately upon tooth removal is the best way to have sufficient quality and quantity of bone for dental implants.
Click here to read more about a Dental Implant patient case study.
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