Dental implants are widely sought options for replacing missing teeth. They offer so many benefits as they easily blend into your set of natural teeth. For a prosthetic that is surgically placed into the jawbone, they have remarkable sturdiness made possible by a natural body process called osseointegration. As a vital part of the implant placement process, understanding what osseointegration is will help us appreciate its role in the dental implant procedure much more.
What Is Osseointegration?
When dental implants are placed in the jawbone, the jawbone grows and bonds with the implant post to hold it in place. This process is called osseointegration. The word is derived from two Greek and Latin terms that mean “bone” (osseo) and “integrate'' means to make whole. So, osseointegration is how our jawbone fuses with the dental implant, making it a permanent part of our jawbone. The implant post that is placed is made from biocompatible titanium, and it has a surface that encourages the osseointegration process.
How Long Is The Integration Process?
From the moment the titanium post is placed in the jawbone, the healing process has begun. Osseointegration may take a number of months, but this healing time is dependent on each patient. Since we are all different, we tend to respond to healing differently. Other factors that may affect this process are the medical and oral health of a patient, adherence to after-surgery care and instructions, or consumption of alcohol and tobacco.
What Comes After Osseointegration?
A successful osseointegration means that your jawbone has healed successfully and is ready to receive the other parts of your dental implant. Once the jawbone is healed, the implant post is held strongly, and can receive an abutment which is used to hold the artificial crown that completes your teeth. After all these are done, your dental implant becomes a part of your mouth like your natural teeth, and you may even find it hard to tell the difference between them.
Osseointegration And Inadequate Bone
To be considered for a dental implant, a patient must have an adequate jawbone mass. When patients lack bone density, it becomes a challenge for osseointegration. Our professionals will assess your bone health, and recommend a bone graft if your jawbone quality is inadequate. This bone graft is a procedure that will help us build your jawbone to the state that is recommended for receiving dental implants. Once a bone graft is healed, you can receive an implant and osseointegration will occur appropriately.
Ensuring Dental Implant Success
Osseointegration ensures that your dental implant post is securely held in place so that you can receive the other parts that complete your tooth restoration. Patients with some particular medical conditions or unhealthy habits may pose risk to the success of a dental implant. Patients who suffer from bruxism may also have issues with their dental implants.
If you have one or more missing teeth, and you are considering dental implants, our professionals will help you determine how best to go about it for maximum success. Reach out to us at Joshua Austin, DDS MAGD FACD today, by calling (210) 408-7999 to learn if dental implants are suitable for you.