You have decided that you would like to have dental implants to replace the teeth what you have lost, so you go to a cosmetic dentist for a consultation. You may be surprised to learn during this consultation that getting dental implants is not always a simple process; there can actually be several relative procedures that will be required to make the implants a possibility. Here is a look at some of those secondary procedures and why they may need to be a part of your dental implant procedure.
Bone grafts may be necessary to create a substantial anchoring bone.
Once your actual teeth are extracted from your mouth, the jawbones that held those teeth in place start to lose mass because they aren't being constantly stimulated into new growth by tooth roots. The lower height of these bones can make it difficult for an implant to be placed. Therefore, bone grafting procedures are pretty common when a patient elects to have dental implants inserted. The longer you have been without your natural teeth, the more of a chance there will be that you will need to have bone grafting done before the implants can be placed.
Gum grafts may be necessary to give the implants a more natural appearance.
Once the implants have been inserted and the prosthetic teeth have been placed on the implants, the soft tissue should enclose slightly around the base of the new prosthetic tooth. If substantial soft-tissue growth does not happen, the dentist may prefer to do a gum graft to encourage the process. Gum grafts involve taking small pieces of tissue from one healthy part of the mouth and implanting it over the area that needs more tissue. Tissue pieces may be harvested from the cheeks or roof of the mouth, and the procedure does not take a lot of time to complete.
Bone fragment removals may be necessary if you've had recent extractions.
Even though the dentist removes everything they can see during extraction, it is possible to leave tiny fragmented pieces behind in the soft tissues of the mouth. You may not know these pieces are present, but if the fragment is in the way of a planned dental implant, it will likely have to be properly removed so it does not affect the implant process. Fragments can be seen on x-rays, so tracking them down is an easy thing to do and removal is usually a fairly easy procedure.