Dental Implants in Tacoma, WA
When you’re missing a tooth or your dentist is going to extract a tooth, he or she should have a plan in place to replace it right away. Having a missing tooth can lead to dental complications like teeth drifting towards the space left behind. A good option for replacing teeth is dental implants, but do you qualify for them?
Qualifying for Dental Implants
Although you may want to get dental implants to replace missing teeth, not everyone qualifies for them. After speaking to one of our dentists at Tacoma Family Dentistry & TMJ/Sleep Apnea Centre about getting them, he or she will evaluate your jawbone.
It’s vital for there to be enough of jawbone and bone density left to support the implants. Otherwise, they can easily fail. At least one millimeter of bone for an implant is necessary for it to be successful. If there is another tooth next to the implant, then there should be two millimeters and three if there is another implant next to the new one.
Bone Grafting to Add Jawbone
If your jaw doesn’t have the necessary bone, then our dentists in Tacoma, WA can do a bone graft to give your implants a better support structure. Bone grafting sounds complicated, but our dentists at Tacoma Family Dentistry & TMJ/Sleep Apnea Centre can do it in our facility. They consider it a minor surgical procedure that will allow you to get implants so that you can have the functionality of a natural tooth.
To do a bone graft, our dentists will make an incision in the gum to add grafting materials and a piece of bone to build up the jaw. The materials come in several forms, so the dentist may use a powder, granules, putty, or gel that they inject with a syringe. The graft may come from your body, or it may come from a donor. That bone gets treated in a laboratory so that it is sterile and safe.
After the bone and grafting materials go in place, the incision gets closed so that the graft can mesh and grow new bone cells. The grafting process takes several months before the bone is ready for dental implants. Implants are a big commitment, but our dentists in Tacoma, WA can help you decide if they are right for you.