I have been trying to save up for dental implants. Unfortunately, it took me a little over ten years, so I have been in dentures that whole time. Is it too late for me to get them now?
No, if you are in good general health you are still a candidate for dental implants. The one thing that may be an issue is the amount of bone loss you are dealing with. If you look at the image above with a single dental implant, you can see that the implant has to be integrated with bone, just like natural teeth in order for it to have any real retention.
When your teeth were removed for your complete dentures, your body recognized you no longer had any teeth there. As a result, it begins to resorb the bone in your jaw. While it does this in an effort to be efficient with your body’s resources, it has the unfortunate effect of shrinking your jawbone. Depending on how much bone you have lost, you have one of two choices.
Build the Bone Back Up and Get Implant Overdentures
One option is to have bone grafting done. This builds up the bone in your jawbone. After a period of healing, you will be able to get your implant-supported dentures. You’ll feel a major difference in your quality of life. Your chewing capacity will skyrocket and you’ll finally be able to eat whatever you want again. You won’t have any embarrassing slips and will never have to worry about them falling out in public.
All-on-Four Dental Implants
Another option is to get all-on-four dental implants. This allows people with some bone loss to still get dental implants. Not everyone is a candidate, however. A lot depends on the type and amount of bone structure you have left in your jaw.
Either way, you want to make sure you use a dentist with post-doctoral training in dental implants, as well a success rate of about 98%. This is an advanced procedure, which requires advanced training.
This blog is brought to you by East Cobb Dentist Dr. Cristi Cheek.