Current research indicates that approximately 10-20% of general dentists in the United States place and restore dental implants and, as a result, many patients wonder why they should visit a specialist to have implants placed when their family dentist can perform the surgery right there in the office. For patients with straightforward cases, opting to have a general dentist place an implant post may be a viable option.
But for the many patients who have issues like compromised jaw bone density, awkwardly placed nerves, low sinuses, and dead teeth, a general dentist’s limited education and experience may not be the best choice. Periodontists have extensive post-doctoral education in all matters relating to dental implants, meaning they have the advanced training needed to accommodate a wider range of cases and address more complex issues.
Building a Stronger Foundation
One of the most common obstacles preventing a patient from receiving dental implants is weakened or reduced jaw bone. Tooth loss results in the reabsorption of nutrients and minerals from that area of bone where the root once anchored the tooth. After many years, the jaw simply may not be strong enough to support an implant post. In these cases, a periodontist can perform two different types of surgery to augment the jaw:
- Bone Grafting. Your periodontist will surgically insert a sample of your own bone tissue (or, if necessary, donor bone tissue) into the site where the implant post will eventually go. In addition, materials that aid in the regeneration of bone tissue will be added. After a few month, the healed graft site will be stronger, more robust, and ready to support a dental implant.
- Sinus Lift. This procedure is, in practice, very similar to a bone graft: bone cells are placed below the gum line to encourage the growth of new, healthy jaw tissue. However, sinus lifts are performed primarily in the back of the mouth on the upper jaw, where bone tends to be thin to begin with. Sinus lifts are a vital part of placing many implant-retained over dentures.
About Dr. Marco Cueva
Marco Cueva, DDS, MS is a board-certified periodontist with extensive training and experience providing a full range of advanced periodontal care services, including dental implants like the revolutionary All-on-4 same day implant dentures. New patients can schedule an appointment or consultation with Periodontic Excellence at our Allen, TX dental office by calling 972-390-9944.