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What Happens If You Don’t Have Enough Bone for Dental Implants?

no bone

When we lose teeth, the bone occupying that space starts to shrink while the surrounding areas are maintained. If an implant is not installed within six months, this can lead to a host of issues. When losing a tooth, preventing bone loss is paramount. Maintaining the structural integrity of the jaw bone is precisely why implants were designed. Before settling on a viable course of action, the dentist must determine the total amount of bone density and volume present in the afflicted area. This is because there must be enough bone in the area to support the implant, otherwise it will not set properly and cause all sorts of issues. To give you better idea of treatment options, here is a brief list outlining what happens if you don’t have enough bone for dental implants.

Bone Grafting

Bone grafting is where bone or similar materials are grafted to the jaw. This is typically accomplished using the patient’s bone, usually the reverse side of the lower jaw or the tibia. However, patients that are uncomfortable with having parts of their bone removed and placed elsewhere can request bone extracted from cows, or utilize synthetic materials.

Expand That Ridge!

A ridge expansion (ridge split technique) is optimal when the patient’s bone structure is such that their jaw is not wide enough for implants. Some dentists will recommend waiting until the patient has healed before placing the implants, while others will do so immediately.

Distraction + Distraction Osteogenesis ?

A “distraction” is where a dentist separates two bones, while osteogenesis is the descriptor for new bone formulation. This technique can be used to orient the jawbone in any direction, but is most often used to increase its height. It involves separating a piece of bone from the jaw via small cuts in the jawbone. The surgeon will typically use a titanium instrument in tandem with pins and/or screws to hold the bone away from the jawbone. Each day, the patient incrementally unscrews the device, increasing the space between the separated bone and the jawbone. Over time, this space will fill with bone.

Sinus Lifting

Undergoing a sinus lift (sometimes referred to as a sinus elevation) extends the height of the upper jaw by injecting bone into the maxillary sinus. This is typically required when the upper portion of the jaw lacks an adequate amount of bone for a successful implant procedure.

Bulverde North
Family Dental

22101 State Hwy 46 W.
Spring Branch, TX 78070



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8 aM - 5 pm
8 aM - 5 pm
8 aM - 5 pm



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