In our previous post, we mentioned some the consequences of not replacing missing teeth.
One of those consequences is bone loss, which can lead to more tooth loss, which can lead to more bone loss … you get the idea.
This may be more significant than you realize if you have lived without teeth for years but have now decided to get implant-supported or implant-retained dentures.
One of the requirements to get dental implants is a sufficient amount of bone. This is necessary to hold the implants securely in place.
If you don’t have enough bone to support implants, don’t be discouraged. Marineland Dental Care may still be able to help with mini implants.
Contact us if you are looking for a dentist in or near Kennewick, WA, who can help you regain your smile and your bite force.
Why Bone Loss Happens
Prosthodontist Carl E. Misch explained the effects of tooth loss in a piece for deardoctor.com.
The most immediate effect of tooth loss is the change in your appearance. Missing teeth change your smile, and it may even change your mood.
Many people are embarrassed about losing teeth, whether it was a result of gum disease, tooth decay, or an injury.
The other immediate effect is the change in your ability to eat. With each tooth you lose (and don’t replace), you lose some of your ability to bite and chew.
At some point, your diet may consist of nothing more than soups and soft foods like Jell-O, mashed potatoes, and oatmeal. Even if you like those things, you would probably like to be able to eat a hamburger or a cookie every now and then.
Below the surface, however, the long-term effects change your appearance in another way. As you lose bone density, your entire face can change.
Your jawbone is part of the supporting structure for the face. Your face may sink in on itself as your bone mass goes away.
All of us look different as we get older. That happens naturally. If you are losing bone mass, you can look older than you really are.
Can Bone Be Replaced?
Yes, it can through a procedure called bone grafting.
We mentioned earlier that you need a certain amount of bone mass to support dental implants. If you don’t have enough bone, one option is to replace what is missing.
There are couple different ways to get the bone for this procedure. The important thing is that the transplanted bone can be placed where it is needed.
You will need time to recover from this procedure, and you will need time for the transplanted bone to fuse with your remaining bone.
After this has happened, then the dentist can place the dental implants in your mouth.
As you have probably already realized, this makes the process more complicated and more expensive. You may be asking if there is simpler (and less costly) solution to this problem.
The Mini Implant Option
The reason you need a certain amount of bone to support traditional dental implants is because of their size.
Mini dental implants have a smaller diameter. As a result, they can be supported in places where traditional implants may not fit.
Mini implants will not help you regrow the bone that has already been lost, but they can help prevent further bone loss.
What Can Mini Implants Do?
Dental implants can be used to support dental crowns, dental bridges, and dentures.
Mini implants can do all of those same things.
Dental implants can help to restore the appearance of your smile, which can improve your self-confidence. Mini implants can provide those same benefits.
Dental implants also can restore nearly all of our original bite force. This means you can eat that hamburger, chew a bite of fried chicken, or bite into a crunchy cookie. (You can still eat mashed potatoes if you want, too.)
Mini implants can provide comparable improvements to your bite force.
In summary, mini implants can provide practically all the same benefits as traditional implants, and they may save you from needing an additional procedure just to get your implants.
Don’t Lose Hope
Our preference is that none of our patients lose any teeth. If you do, we encourage you to take steps to replace those lost teeth as soon as possible.
Even if you have lost several teeth and you’ve waited too long to be able to support dental implants, we want you to know that you still have hope of regaining your smile and your bite. You just need to get in touch with Marineland Dental Care.