Dental implants are a great option for people with just a few teeth missing. The implants consist of an artificial titanium root that a dentist implants into the jawbone. A small external piece, called an abutment, connects the prosthetic tooth to the implant.
In Loughton practices, dental implants have a high success rate. Anyone who is healthy enough may have the procedure, and the implant functions just as a real tooth, once fully healed.
Unfortunately, not everyone is a candidate for dental implants.
Poor Bone Density
While the majority of people may have a dental implant procedure, some are not eligible for it. People with poor bone density usually cannot accept an implant, as their jaws are not solid enough to support it.
The titanium root of a dental implant resembles a screw. The dentist drills a hole into the bone underneath the gums, and inserts the implant. Within six to 12 weeks, new bone grows around the root, firmly cementing it into place.
People with poor bone density lack the bone needed to keep the implant in place. Poor bone density carries the risk of the implant wobbling or dislodging.
Patients with poor bone density may also have a jaw ridge that is too narrow to accommodate the implant. In such cases, it may be possible to apply bone grafts to stabilise the area.
Causes of Poor Bone Density
There are several factors that lead to poor bone density. In older people, bone loss is just a natural part of aging. In younger people, it could indicate poor health. Here are just some of the things that affect your bone strength:
- Osteoporosis – Osteoporosis is the disease that affects bone density. Osteoporosis is characterised by brittle, porous bone structures. This disease has many causes, including vitamin deficiency, lack of exercise and hormonal imbalances. Osteoporosis is more common amongst the elderly. Women over 50 and men over 70 are more likely to develop it.
- Smoking and Alcohol Consumption – Excessive smoking and the overconsumption of alcohol leads to poor bone density.
- Arthritis – People suffering from rheumatoid arthritis have difficulty moving. Lack of movement and a sedentary lifestyle leads to bone loss, especially amongst older individuals.
While getting a dental implant is a great way to restore the function of your teeth fully, it is not for everyone. Fortunately, countering bone loss is often a matter of having a healthy lifestyle.