Coming to the decision to replace your missing or damaged teeth with dental implants is very exciting. However, here at the Smile Design Specialists, we encourage patients to temper this excitement because not everyone is physically prepared for dental implants right away. If this happens, supplemental procedures may be utilized to assist patients in getting ready for their successful smile transformation.
Here are some instances where patients presented challenges to implant placement and how supplemental procedures were able to help ensure a successful result for dental implants.
Anita (whose real name has been altered for privacy), is a 57-year-old female patient who had four teeth in her upper jaw knocked out in a car accident. When the accident happened, Anita got a bridge because it was the easiest option that best fit into her budget. Now, she wants a more permanent, functional, and attractive solution to replace her missing teeth and she has decided on dental implants. However, because she has been missing the teeth for over three decades, Anita has no sufficient gum tissue. So what can she do to fix this problem?
Even under the best of circumstance, patients like Anita, can experience significant gum recession after losing one or more teeth. This often leaves areas of the tooth root exposed which can increase the risk of sensitivity, infection, pain, and tooth decay. To assist with this problem, tissue grafting was created to help make gums resistant to recession.
When tissue grafting is chosen, a piece of healthy gum tissue is harvested and a small incision is made. The graft material is then attached to the area that needs volume and the patient is sent home to heal. The graft then preserves soft tissue in the dental implant area and makes the gum tissues less likely to recede after oral surgery. Fortunately, this relatively simple procedure can be performed at the same time as the dental implant placement or before depending on the specifics of the case.
Vern (whose real name has been altered for privacy), is a 49-year-old male patient with the majority of his teeth missing in the upper jaw area. The teeth were knocked out in an accident. After his accident, Vern got a removable denture because it was the easiest and least expensive option. For the last 20 years, he could still eat and smile normally, but the bone beneath the missing teeth has continued to flatten out over time. After doing some research and seeing his options, Vern wants a more attractive and permanent solution to replace his missing teeth.
In the past, Vern would have had to wear dentures for life. But today there are many options to fix these problems like gum recession or bone deterioration. Two of the most commonly used supplemental procedures are bone and gum grafting. Both procedures add proper volume in places where healthy and dense tissue is needed. Both procedures also help patients successfully prepare for their dental implant placement.
Bone grafting procedure were initially designed to help patients wear dentures more comfortably and to chew with better functionally. However, the initial attempts were ineffective, painful, and ultimately unsuccessful. Luckily, after much research and development over the last few decades, doctors have perfected tissue grafts so that they can be easily attached to areas lacking necessary volume. This means that patients like Vern can get bone or tissue grafting in just a few short visits. And after the graft area heals, Vern can easily be evaluated for dental implant candidacy once more.
Despite a desire to fix your smile immediately, some patients are not ready for the dental implant procedure. In the past, a lack of healthy tissues in the gums or jaw area could have prevented patients from getting dental implants. Today, thanks to the amazing quality of bone and tissue grafting, patients who were previously unable to get implants, can now take advantage of all the benefits of permanent and natural-looking tooth replacement treatment. If you live in the North Arlington, NJ or metropolitan area, call us now for a no-obligation consultation with board certified prosthdontist Dr. Ekstein.
Dr. Richard Ekstein
312 Belleville Turnpike #3b
North Arlington, NJ 07031
Monday: 8AM – 6PM
Tuesday: 7:30AM – 6PM
Wednesday: 8AM – 6PM
Thursday: 12PM – 8PM