Posted on: 30 December 2017Share
If you're researching tooth replacements, you might already know that dental implants are one of the best choices you can make for yourself. Unfortunately, many people decide that they can't get dental implants before consulting with a dentist due to having a weak jaw or knowing that their teeth have been missing for a long time. While it's true that standard dental implants might not be a good fit for your situation, that doesn't mean you're out of luck. Read on to discover how you can still get dental implants even with a weak jaw or long-term tooth loss.
The main reason why standard dental implants don't work well for people with weak bones or long-term tooth loss is that the implants rely on the jaw bone. Standard dental implants have a peg beneath them that's inserted into the bone itself. This acts as an anchor and takes the place of a real tooth's root. However, when bones are brittle or weak, they may not be strong enough to support a standard dental implant. This is also highly likely if you've been missing one or more teeth for a while, since you can lose up to 25% of your jaw bone density in a single year with a missing tooth.
Thankfully, there is another option: subperiosteal dental implants. While standard implants require drilling into the bone, subperiosteal implants sit over the jaw bone and aren't placed directly in it. Instead, a metal bracket is adhered to your jaw, which acts as the support for the implant. These brackets help to strengthen the jaw and they do all of the work of supporting the implant above it. They're a great option for anyone who worries or has been told that standard dental implants won't work for them.
What To Expect
Subperiosteal dental implants are installed in multiple visits to the dentist's office. The first thing your dentist will need to do is examine your mouth and perform dental x-rays. This will show them where the missing teeth are and highlight the surrounding bone structures.
From there, your dentist will take measurements to order custom-made subperiosteal implants for you. Once the bracket is ready, you'll be brought into the office and the bracket will be attached to your jaw. You'll then be sent home and given time to heal so that the bracket is completely adhered to the jaw and the gums have closed up around the exposed pegs.
Once the healing is complete, your dentist will have you come in one final time to have the artificial teeth attached to the pegs. Once these are in place, you'll be able to return to all of your normal activities, and you should find that eating and speaking feels completely normal with no need for an adjustment period.
Dental implants can help to restore full function for chewing and speaking, and they help to prevent bacterial infections from forming in gum pockets where teeth have fallen out. If you're tired of having one or more missing teeth, contact a dentist to find out if you're a good fit for subperiosteal dental implants.