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Preparing your jaw for dental implants

Most patients do not need to prepare their jaw for dental implants but if a patient’s jaw structure is not currently large or strong enough, it can require additional treatments to prepare the jaw. Here is an overview of some common treatment options.

Creating a solid base for implants

Chewing food generates pressure that pushes down to the roots of your teeth. When your natural roots are replaced with a dental implant, there needs to be sufficient bone tissue to support the new tooth. Patients with bone loss may first need to improve the condition of their jaw before moving forward with implant surgery.

Bone grafting

If your jawbone is too thin or the bone tissue is soft, bone grafting may be needed to enlarge and strengthen the bone. A bone graft is a common oral surgery that involves placing natural or synthetic bone material in the tooth socket to stimulate the growth of new bone tissue. Depending on the size of the graft, it may be a few months until there is enough new bone to support a dental implant. In cases where only a minor bone graft is needed, it may be possible to complete the procedure at the same time as implant surgery.

Ridge augmentation

Ridge augmentation is a similar but slightly more complex procedure than bone grafting that recreates the natural contour of the jaw when bone loss has caused the ridge of the jaw to lose height and width. Ridge augmentations utilize bone grafts to stimulate and encourage bone growth and then form and reshape the jawbone once the bone graft has healed.

How do I know if my jaw is ready for dental implants?

To find out if you are a strong candidate for dental implants, schedule an initial consultation with your oral surgeon. Using x-rays and other diagnostic imagery, your surgeon can determine if you are ready for implant placement now or require additional procedures to prepare your jaw.