We are always excited when patients make the important decision to fix their smile with natural-looking dental implants. That being said, many of these patients also usually want to get their procedure done sooner rather than later. However, here at The Foleck Center, we encourage patients to use caution because not everyone is prepared for dental implants immediately. If this is the case, supplemental procedures may be used to help get patients ready for their smile transformation.
Here are some instances where patients presented with challenges to implant placement and how supplemental procedures were able to help ensure a successful result.
Ian (whose real name has been altered for privacy), is a 37-year-old male patient with most of the teeth missing in his upper jaw. The teeth were knocked out in a bike accident when he was 17. After his accident, Ian got dentures because it was the easiest and least expensive option. For the last 20 years, he could still eat and smile normally, but the bone beneath the missing teeth has flattened over time. After doing some research, Ian wants a more attractive and permanent solution to replace his missing teeth.
In the past, Ian would have been doomed to wear dentures for the rest of his life. But today there are many options the fix these problems. Two of the most commonly used supplemental procedures are bone grafting and gum tissue grafting. Both procedures add necessary volume to the tissues in places where healthy and dense tissue is necessary. Both procedures also assist patients in successfully preparing for their dental implant placement.
To combat the serious problem of bone deterioration and a flattened jawbone, doctors created a procedure to help rebuild healthy jawbone volume. The bone grafting procedure was initially designed to help patients wear dentures comfortably and chew functionally. Early attempts were difficult, ineffective, painful, and ultimately unsuccessful. After much research and development, doctors found that tissue grafts from donated bone sources could easily be attached to areas of the jaw lacking necessary volume. These later efforts were much more successful and much less painful. This means that patients like Ian can get bone or tissue grafting right in the doctor’s office in just a few short visits. And after the bone graft area heals, Ian can be evaluated for dental implant candidacy.
Claudia (whose real name has been altered for privacy), is a 63-year-old female patient with four teeth in her upper jaw teeth missing. After a car accident in her thirties, Claudia got a bridge because it was the cheapest and easiest option. Now, she wants a more permanent, functional, and attractive solution to replace her missing teeth. However, because she has been missing the teeth for over thirty years, Claudia needs tissue grafting to assist with her lack of sufficient gum tissue. So what can she do?
Sometimes patients like Claudia, can experience gum recession after losing teeth. This in turn leaves sensitive areas of the tooth root exposed which can increase the risk of infection, pain, disease, and tooth decay. Tissue grafting has been proven extremely successful in helping make gums resistant to recession and is probably the best solution for Claudia as well.
During tissue grafting, a piece of healthy gum tissue is usually harvested from the patient’s own palate using a small incision. The specially harvested graft material is then attached to the prepared area and the patient is sent home for a period of healing. The graft then preserves soft tissue in the dental implant area and makes the gum tissues less likely to recede after oral surgery. This procedure can be performed at the same time as the dental implant is being installed or before the placement of implants.
Here at The Foleck Center we understand that despite a desire to fix your smile right away, some patients are not ready for the dental implant procedure immediately. In the past, a lack of healthy gum or bone tissues could have prevented patients from getting dental implants. Today, thanks to the modern wonders of bone and tissue grafting, patients who were previously unable to get implants, can now take advantage of all the benefits of permanent and natural-looking tooth replacement treatment. If you live in the Norfolk or Hampton, VA areas, call us now for a consultation.
201 College Pl. #111
Norfolk, VA 23510
Monday: 8AM – 6PM
Tuesday: 8AM – 5PM
Wednesday: 8AM – 7PM
Thursday: 7:30AM – 6:30PM
Friday: 8AM – 5PM
Saturday: 9AM – 1PM