False Teeth - Making the Right Choices

How To Get Dental Implants When Your Jawbone Is Too Small

When your jawbone is too small for traditional dental implants, you do have options for dealing with the situation. To figure out the best option for your dental needs, it is best to know more about the different procedures that will allow you to get the dental implants you desire.

Bone Graft

Your first option when dealing with a small jawbone is to have a bone graft done to add some mass to the existing bone. An oral surgeon uses the graft to help stabilize and increase the size of your jawbone. Once the graft is in place, the surgeon covers it with a mesh to protect the material as your mouth heals.

When considering a bone graft, you need to determine what type of material you want to use. Natural bone, for example, can come from animals, your own body or you can choose cadaver bone for the process. You also have the option of using synthetic bone for the procedure, which has been created specifically for grafting purposes.

After your mouth heals and it is the correct size, you can then get a traditional implant placed. The grafting process does add one more surgery you need to complete, but it does allow you to get a regular implant if that is what you prefer.  

Mini Implants

Another option you have is to choose a mini implant. This type of implant is around half the size of a traditional one, which makes it a good choice for people with smaller jawbones. Many dentists use this implant for the front incisors, because the bone in that location is thinner.

The other difference between a traditional and mini implant is that the miniature one does not go completely into the bone. A small portion of the post sticks out of the jawbone and this piece is used for securing the abutment into your mouth.

Subperiosteal Implants

If neither procedure is appealing, you can look into subperiosteal implants. With this implant, the post does not go into the bone. Instead, the dentist places a small metal plate over the jawbone and under the gum line, which has the post for the implant.

The method allows the plate to float above the bone, while the gums hold the entire implant in place. The plate is custom-made so that it fits tightly around the bone, which also helps to keep it in place.

It is important to note that this option may not be as strong as the ones that are placed directly into the bone. It is always a good idea to consult your dentist, so you can choose the right implant option for your needs.