How Can I Prepare My Mouth For Dental Implants?
There are many important benefits that dental implants offer, and most patients are able to receive them. But sometimes, there may be steps you need to take first to “prepare your mouth” for implants.
Here are some of the things you may need to do before having implants put in, depending on the current condition of your oral cavity.
Do I Need An Extraction First? What About Same-day Dental Implants?
If you have a tooth that is still in your mouth but needs to come out soon, it is possible to have the old tooth taken out and the implant placed on the same day.
Same-day dental implants are a modern marvel – your periodontist can often perform a simple extraction or, if necessary, surgical extraction and then move quickly in placing the titanium implant rod in the socket where your tooth used to be.
This can reduce the risk of the empty tooth socket getting infected. And it reduces the amount of time that there will be no pressure applied to that particular area of your mouth. That’s important because the longer a tooth is missing, the more alveolar bone mass “resorbs” into the body due to the lack of normal biting pressures.
You May Need Bone Grafts or Soft Tissue Grafts
Most of the time, there is no need for bone grafts or soft tissue (gum) grafts prior to having dental implants put in. But neither is it uncommon for there to be such a need. It’s a matter of preparing for the implant so it will sit firmly and snugly in your mouth.
With bone grafts, you are looking to build up the density and/or width of the alveolar bone mass that supports your natural teeth. This part of the jawbone is what will also be used to support dental implants.
Bone erosion may occur due to the rubbing of removable dentures on the alveolar ridge. Or bone can shrink due to having missing teeth for a long time. Periodontal disease and the natural effects of aging are two additional causes for the loss of sufficient bone material to support an implant rod.
A bone graft can be done immediately after an extraction to prevent bone resorption, as a part of treating gum disease and preventing loose teeth from falling out, or as preparation for dental implants. In some cases, you can get a bone graft the same day as your implants, but usually, you need to wait several months for the new bone to fuse to the old bone – and the titanium implant rod will later fuse to the bone as well.
Finally, the bone material used can come from your own body, such as from the chin or leg, from a donor (at a tissue bank), or even from animals. In some instances, artificial materials can be safely and effectively used as well.
Soft Tissue Grafts
With gum grafts, you are trying to make sure the implants are properly surrounded by healthy gum tissue just like natural teeth would be.
Now, having a firm anchorage point in the alveolar bone is essential to the success of dental implants, which safely fuse to bone in a process called osseointegration. Many people understand that immediately but wonder what gum grafts have to do with implants.
First of all, you want your gums to cover the roots of the implant and any natural teeth you may have. This is important for aesthetic reasons – a great smile. But it also prevents bacteria from colonizing in those areas.
Having sufficient gums in any area of your mouth and a good gum-tooth attachment protects teeth and implants and shields the underlying bone mass from bacterial attack. Overall, the goal is to lower the risk of gum recession and of implant failure.
If you have an extraction to prepare for an implant, your periodontist will often put in bone grafts and/or soft tissue grafts on the same day. Otherwise, the gum grafts can be done later but before actually placing the implants in your mouth.
The gum graft material is normally taken from other parts of your gums or from the roof of your mouth (palate.)
Your Gums Must Be Healthy Before Implants Are Placed
After discussing gum grafts above, you already realize the importance of having sufficient gum tissue in the right places for dental implants. But you also need it to be healthy gum tissue.
Many Americans have some form or stage of gum disease, ranging from gingivitis to periodontitis. But you may need to have periodontal treatment first before implants are put in if you are suffering from gum disease.
Of course, you would need to treat the gum disease anyway, so it’s not as if this is “extra” in reality. But it’s a matter of the order to do things in. You want your gums healthy before undergoing implant surgery.
Dental implants can do much to improve your life and your smile. You may be ready for implants or ready to get ready for them at least. If so, you may be asking “Where can I find modern dental implants near me?” and “Whom can I trust to put them in?”
It’s important to rely only on a skilled periodontist who has deep experience with dental implant placement. In Central Florida, contact Ormond Beach Periodontics & Implant Dentistry for assistance with all your implant-related needs!