When a tooth falls out, nothing changes at first. The jawbone, gums and ligaments maintain their shape for a while, which makes it easy for our doctors to install implants that completely and accurately replace as many organic teeth as necessary.
After a while, though, things do start to change. Specifically:
- Gums collapse
- Gum openings grow over
- The jawbone starts to deteriorate in the absence of teeth to support
After a while, it gets to the point where there’s so little bone left that there’s not enough support for an implant or a real tooth.
How Implants Work
An implant is essentially a replica of a real tooth that’s attached to your body in several stages:
- First, a metal implant is attached to your bone. It can be fused to the inside of your bone (endosteal method), on top of your bone (subperiosteal) or even to the bottom of your jawbone. What matters is that the metal is firmly fused to your organic tissue - and at our clinic, we offer a variety of ways to do that.
- Afterwards, a screw is attached to the metal implant. This screw (or “post”) protrudes from the gum like a tooth root usually would.
- A crown is attached to the post, just like it would be to what remains of an organic tooth in other scenarios.
The one issue that arises most frequently during these steps is the absence of bone matter. Patients who’ve lost some or all of their teeth experience jawbone deterioration - and at some point, there’s too little bone for an implant to be attached to. At this stage, it becomes necessary to use bone grafting to create more tissue.
There are a variety of bone grafting techniques, but the essence is the same: to give you more jawbone mass and volume. This is done by attaching bone mass from somewhere else. There are two main ways to do this:
- Via allograft, wherein bone is taken from a donor and transplanted into a patient’s body.
- Via autograft, wherein bone is taken from a patient and attached to their jawbone.
The end result is really the same and choosing where you get your bone from is ultimately up to you and your dentist. Fortunately for you, our doctors are perfectly equipped to help you make the right choice.
To get a free quote today, simply call us up at (732) 290-1660; we’ll be more than happy to guide you towards a choice that’s right for you and your family.