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Do I Have Enough Jawbone For Dental Implants?
Houston, TX

Image of a dental implant and its components being placed into a jaw, at Alexandra Garcia, DDS, MS in Houston, TX. Tooth loss can be a traumatic experience for many individuals. It can impact your overall self-esteem and detract from your beauty. Thankfully, there are many solutions for lost teeth, the best being dental implants. However, certain requirements must be met to get a dental implant, including having a sufficient jawbone. If you are wondering if you have enough jawbone for dental implants, Dr. Garcia or Dr. Alexandra Garcia at Alexandra Garcia, DDS, MS can conduct a dental checkup to find out.

Why is Jawbone Necessary for Dental Implants?

The best way to understand why jawbone is necessary for a successful dental implant installation is to look at the steps involved in a dental implant procedure. The dental implant installation process begins with dental experts inserting the implant into your jawbone. Your jawbone acts as an anchor for the dental implant holding it in place during a vigorous activity like eating difficult-to-chew foods. If your jawbone lacks the depth and width required to hold the dental implant in place, that can result in implant failure.

How Much Jawbone is Required for Dental Implants?

The basic guideline that most dental experts follow when determining if a patient has enough jawbone for a dental implant is to look for at least 1mm of jawbone. When examining the height of a patient's jawbone, dentists look for enough bone to cover the implant completely. To determine this, dentists usually conduct radiographs and clinical examinations.

Sometimes, a dentist may recommend a patient get a CBCT (cone beam computed tomography) scan. This scan involves using advanced x-ray technology to get a 3D image of the jawbone. It offers critical information like the width, height, shape, and density of an individual's jawbone. Therefore, to get a dental implant, your CBCT scan must demonstrate that you have enough bone for the implant to immerse in it completely.

What if I Don't Have Enough Jawbone for Dental Implants?

The dental world has undergone a complete transformation in the last few decades. Now there is a solution for every challenge a patient may encounter. Therefore, you can get a dental implant even if you don't have enough jawbone. It used to be that you would need to settle for dentures or bridges. There are now several procedures that dentists can conduct to help patients with a lack of jawbone get dental implants. The option that your dentist chooses for you depends on factors like the number of dental implants you need to get, the location of the implant, and the type of implant being used in the procedure.

Bone Grafting

Bone grafting is a procedure where dental health professionals graft or add bone-like components or real bone to a patient's jaw. Most dentists recommend your bone as the ideal option for successful bone grafting. In most cases, the dentist will extract the bone from the chin or the back region of the lower jaw. If, for some reason, the dentist is unable to remove sufficient bone from these areas, they may obtain it from your shin bone or hip region instead.

The hip bone is the best choice for extracting bone for a bone grafting procedure since that area offers a large proportion of bone. However, extraction from this region will involve a hospital stay, as you are going under anesthesia. Moreover, there is also an option for patients who may not want to get bone removed from their bodies. Dentists can utilize bone sourced from cows or human cadavers for such patients.

Distraction Osteogenesis

Dentists recommend distraction osteogenesis to patients who lack the sufficient height of jawbone necessary for a dental implant procedure. During this procedure, your dentist will create an incision within your jawbone to separate a piece of the bone from the rest of your jaw. Next, they insert a titanium device and use screws and pins to keep the separated bone apart from the remainder of your jawbone. The dentists then instruct you to unscrew that device a tiny amount each day. This eventually separates the two pieces of bone and causes the jawbone to grow taller. As time passes, the bone gradually fills the space between both pieces.

Ridge Expansion

A ridge expansion is another form of bone grafting procedure conducted when a patient's jawbone lacks the width required for dental implants. During this procedure, dentists cut within the bone surrounding the roots of a tooth. The ridge bone is split, and the outer and inner bone pieces are pulled apart.
A ridge expansion allows dentists to create a space they can fill with bone grafts or dental implants. This procedure involves patients going under IV sedation.

Sinus Elevation

Sinus elevation refers to filling a section of the maxillary sinus (area above the jaw) with bone. This procedure allows dentists to enhance the height of the upper jaw. It is ideal for individuals with the insufficient bone for implant placement on the back portion of their upper jaw.

Why Don't I Have Enough Bone for Dental Implants?

There are various reasons why patients do not have enough jawbone, including:
•  Bone atrophy (the process where an individual's jawbone may begin to shrink due to factors like tooth loss). When there is no tooth to apply pressure to a bone, the body starts to reabsorb the minerals in the bone tissue, making the bone thinner. This can occur in any part of the body. For example, if an individual cannot walk, it can lead to bone thinning in their legs.
•  Bone loss triggered by gum disease.
•  The presence of large sinuses in the upper jaw region that would normally be filled by bone.
•  Infection or abscess-related bone loss that a diseased tooth may have triggered.
•  individual differences in anatomy

A simple dental examination can prevent most of the causes of bone loss. This is why it is critical to schedule regular dentist visits. Regular dental checkups every six months can help you keep your dental health in check.

Get your Dental Implants Today

If you are wondering if you have enough jawbone for dental implants or have any other dental implant FAQs, we recommend getting in touch with our experts dentists at Alexandra Garcia, DDS, MS by calling (346) 250-2930.

Our dental health professionals will examine you to determine if you have sufficient bone for dental implants. If not, we will offer the appropriate treatment route to help you develop a jawbone for a dental implant procedure. With years of experience conducting successful dental implant procedures, we can help you treat the effects of tooth loss and regain your smile in no time.
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777 Post Oak Blvd, Suite 625
Houston, TX 77056-3204


Office: (346) 250-2930


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Enough Jawbone for Implants • Houston, TX • Alexandra Garcia DDS
Click here to find out if you have enough jawbone for a dental implant treatment. We are here to help!
Alexandra Garcia, DDS, MS, 777 Post Oak Blvd, Suite 625, Houston, TX 77056 • (346) 250-2930 • • 6/11/2024 • Page Keywords: dental implants Houston TX •

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