Facts About Jawbone Health and Implant Surgery
Dental implants are a marvel of modern-day dentistry. They allow prosthodontists to replicate the feel and function of a natural tooth in a prosthetic form with a high success rate and minimal care requirements post-healing.
If you’re interested in dental implant surgery, you’re likely aware that dental implant surgery involves a lengthy healing period that lasts for months. You’ll eagerly anticipate the end of this recovery phase since it marks your surgery’s success. Still, some fascinating things happen during the six months post-surgery, such as osseointegration and bone remodeling.
Here are a few facts about bone health and growth after dental implant surgery.
1. Osseointegration begins immediately after an implant post is placed.
Our bodies are adept at healing themselves. From a papercut on a finger to a broken bone, our bodies begin to heal injuries immediately, even though we can’t necessarily see or feel these things happening at first. The same effect happens after dental implant surgery.
Osseointegration is the process in which your jawbone begins to integrate or fuse with the implant post. The process starts right after the implant post is placed, and in as soon as four days, bone formation is already occurring. Although bone does take longer to completely heal and reform than soft tissue, our bodies take action to trigger the process just as quickly.
2. Titanium is used because it’s uniquely capable of osseointegration.
Dental implant posts are made of medical-grade titanium. Although the posts themselves may vary in design or size, the popularity of titanium remains consistent.
Titanium is favored for dental implants and other medical use because it’s super strong and biocompatible, meaning the likelihood of your body rejecting it is very low. It is also more resistant to the harsh environment inside your body and therefore less likely to erode over time. This, plus its ability to osseointegrate with bone, are the main reasons it remains dentists’ material of choice for implants.
3. Bone grafts may be necessary before dental implants if you lack jawbone density.
Tooth loss from decay or periodontal disease doesn’t just leave a gap in your smile. It also leaves space in the jawbone where the tooth root would typically be anchored. Without the tooth present, the jawbone begins the process of resorption.
Bone resorption happens when the body breaks down bone and reabsorbs it as calcium into the bloodstream. This causes the jawbone to shrink. Unfortunately, this can leave the bone too fragile or shallow for a dental implant. When this happens, a prosthodontist can offer a bone graft before surgery.
Bone grafts use human or animal bone, and sometimes a synthetic material, to build back jaw density. Osseointegration occurs, and the remaining bone fuses with the graft. Afterward, dental implant surgery can move forward as usual.
4. The bone healing process has two distinct phases that take roughly three months.
It takes about six months for the average dental implant to integrate with the jawbone fully.
The bone is healing during the first three months but remains in an “immature” state. The bone will be actively growing and rebuilding, but the initial new bone growth is spongy. As osseointegration advances and the bone fuses with the implant, bone remodeling happens.
Bone remodeling is the process of the body reshaping and rebuilding injured bone or immature, spongy bone. The second three-month phase of bone healing is finalized with a complete remodeling, resulting in a dental implant with mature, dense bone growth.
5. Dental implants stimulate healthy bone structure and natural bone remodeling.
Your dental implant will be considered fully healed after six months, but the bone will continue to mature and strengthen over time.
Most importantly, your dental implant will stimulate your jaw bone, like natural teeth, encouraging healthy bone remodeling and preventing bone resorption. Simply put, your dental implant will keep your jawbone strong through normal oral functions, like chewing.
The benefit of jawbone stimulation also applies to the All-on-4 implant system! Compared to traditional dentures, your All-on-4 smile will be healthier and stronger, with minimized risk of bone resorption.
Lifelong dental implant success begins with choosing the right prosthodontist.
Maintaining a healthy, stable dental implant for life depends on prioritizing oral hygiene, reducing risks of oral disease, and regular dental checkups. But getting to this point is impossible without a knowledgeable prosthodontist.
Choosing a prosthodontist specializing in dental implant surgery, and who continues to expand their education in this field, is the most valuable factor in the success of your treatment.
Their skilled hands will place your implant post precisely using the latest dental technology and tools. Following surgery, they’ll guide you through every step of the healing process and provide support whenever you have questions or concerns. They’ll also have you return for follow-up appointments to monitor the healing process and ensure osseointegration is on the right track.
Dr. Bentz, a distinguished prosthodontist near Philadelphia, provides this level of superior care.
Schedule a dental implant consultation with Dr. Bentz today by calling our East Norriton, PA office or requesting a visit online.