Pacific Palisades, CA
Dental Implants - High-Tech TeethTooth loss has several major impacts on your overall quality of life. One of the most obvious consequences is the impact it has on your appearance (and your confidence). Tooth loss affects many of the most basic functions of your mouth, such as eating and speaking. These once simple tasks become a serious challenge. Tooth loss also has a hidden effect. When you lose your teeth, your jawbone naturally begins to grow weaker.
Over time, your jawbone begins to change shape, which can lead to misalignment, grinding, and jaw pain. Dental implants are one of the most popular treatments available for replacing missing teeth, but you must have sufficient bone mass to ensure their success. At Palisades Surgical Arts, we can perform a ridge augmentation to restore missing bone mass, making dental implants possible.
Dental implants are the latest addition to replacing missing teeth. They consist of small titanium rods that are surgically placed into your jawbone. The implants rely on the fusion of your jawbone to the rods (osseointegration), which creates a strong, stable support for your replacement teeth. Dental implants are preferred because they offer several benefits over traditional tooth replacement methods like bridges, partials, and full dentures. The biggest benefit of dental implants is that they protect the integrity of your jawbone.
They can do this because they are inserted into the jawbone (instead of sitting above the gum line). Once in place, the implants mimic the functions of natural tooth roots, stimulating the bone. However, before you can receive dental implants, you need to have sufficient bone mass in your jaw. Lacking sufficient bone mass does not automatically disqualify you from dental implants. A ridge augmentation may be able to help.
A ridge augmentation is a surgical procedure. This procedure uses bone graft material to fill in the weak areas of your jaw, which helps to restore its strength. The bone graft material can be taken from your own body (which eliminates the risk of rejection) or from a donor (which requires only one surgical site). In some cases, synthetic materials may also be used. We will determine the best type of bone graft to perform during your initial consultation.
Ridge Augmentation Procedure
A ridge augmentation starts with a local anesthetic. Sedation may also be used, which can help you to relax throughout the duration of the procedure. We then begin surgery with incisions in your gum tissue, which is done to expose the weakened areas of your jaw. The bone graft material is then placed.
Before closing your gums, we may place a membrane over the bone, which helps to keep the soft tissue separated from the hard tissue while you heal (guided tissue bone regeneration). Finally, your gums are sutured closed, and you can begin to heal. It can take anywhere from 4 to 12 months to heal from a ridge augmentation procedure. Once you have fully healed from surgery, we can then begin the procedure for dental implants.
Just because you are missing bone mass does not mean that you are ineligible for dental implants. For more information on ridge augmentation, and to find out if it is right for you, contact Palisades Surgical Arts at (310) 459-0014 today.