How Dental Implants Support Jaw Bone Health


July 18, 2022

If you have missing teeth and are thinking about getting dental implants, restoring the look of your smile isn’t the only positive outcome.

Your natural teeth provide your jaw bone with the support it needs to stay strong and healthy. This is why sometimes your Rhode Island surgeon will first recommend a bone graft procedure to restore the jaw bone mass before an implant can be placed.

Why Does Tooth Loss Lead to Jaw Bone Deterioration?

Your jaw bone needs constant stimulation to be healthy. The tooth’s root provides that stimulation every time you chew your food. The pressure allows proper blood flow to the jaw, and blood is full of natural nutrients the bones need to stay strong.

When you lose a tooth, that region of the jaw isn’t being stimulated anymore. Over time, this area can be depleted of essential nutrients, and the bone loses volume and density. 

Moreover, losing teeth also means the distance between the upper and lower jaw diminishes, which can also start affecting the health of the temporomandibular joints (TMJ). Patients often start experiencing pain in this region as a result.

Why Do You Sometimes Need a Bone Graft Before a Dental Implant?

The dental implant is designed to look and function just like a natural tooth. It contains three elements:

  • The implant (a titanium screw)
  • The abutment 
  • The dental crown

The implant is the part that gets inserted into the jaw and essentially provides the new tooth with stability. It’s the reason why you can chew and talk normally with an implant, without fearing it will come out.

But, for the dental implant to be stable, it needs to be a certain length and width, which means it needs specific amounts of jaw bone mass. If the implant is too short or doesn’t have enough bone mass surrounding it, the entire prosthetic will be affected.

Bone grafts require a healing period between 3 and 6 months depending on the type of bone graft and region in the mouth. Placing an implant in unhealthy bone (low in mass and density) needlessly increases your risk of implant failure.

How Does Bone Grafting Work?

Bone grafting is a surgery designed to restore mass and the health of your jaw bone. The surgeon will take bone from either your mouth or cadaveric bone and place it in the area that needs more volume. Your cells then use this bone material as a scaffold to build new bone, effectively restoring the jaw bone to its full strength.

Need a Dental Implant in Rhode Island? We Can Help

If you’re dealing with missing teeth, ​​Dr. Ray English and his team are available to assist you with expert dental implant services that can restore your smile.

To get started, book an appointment at RI Oral Surgery & Implant Center online, or call our practice at 401-732-1188 to find out more about our implant services.

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Book a Consultation

Are you interested in dental implants or in finding out if you’re a good candidate for oral surgery? Schedule a consultation with Dr. Ray English III today! He’ll take the time to get to know you, and provide treatment plan options that are tailored to your unique needs, so you can get the care that’s right for you.

RI Oral Surgery & Implant Center

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