A dental implant is often a preferred way of replacing a lost tooth. The implant, which is a rod made from titanium metal, is inserted into the bone of the jaw. It rests in the same position as a tooth root. Within a few months of the implant's placement, the device fuses with the bone of the jaw. The fusion process is called osseointegration and should be complete before the implant receives regular bite pressure.
Although standard implants are often used in many cases, there are instances in which standard dental implants may not be the best choice. Here are a few of the them:
As a person ages, the density of the jawbone may decline, especially if one or more teeth have been lost. The bone of the jaw receives stimulation when you eat. The pressure from biting and chewing is transferred from the teeth to the bone, where it stimulates the production of more bone cells. This ongoing production helps ensure that the density of the jawbone does not decline. However, when a tooth is not available to transfer pressure, the jawbone starts to shrink.
If the bone shrinks too much, it cannot support a standard dental implant. In such a case, a mini implant can be used.
A mini dental implant is much smaller than a standard implant and requires less bone for support. Thus, its use can help avoid the need for a bone graft in which synthetic bone, bone from a donor or bone from another part of the patient's body is used.
Prior Implant Failure
Implants may fail for a variety of reasons, such as complications from severe periodontal disease, smoking or uncontrolled blood sugar. Regardless of the reason for an implant failure, the implant site may be damaged from the failure and may not support another standard implant placement. If you received an implant in the past and it failed, if you would like to have another implant installed, your dentist may suggest a zygomatic implant.
Zygomatic dental implants are positioned inside the zygoma or cheekbone, instead of inside your jawbone. As a result, these implants are longer than traditional implants. However, they heal in the same manner as other implants and integrate with the bone for stabilization.
If you are considering a dental implant and are unsure whether or not a standard implant could be used for your tooth replacement, schedule a consultation with an implant dentist in your local area.