If you’ve had your heart set on getting dental implants only to be told by a dentist that you don’t qualify for them, you’re likely more than just a little disappointed. The tremendous benefits that implants have to offer make them drastically better for people who need to replace their missing teeth.
Sometimes, the reasons why a dentist tells their patient that they aren’t candidates for implants is because additional supportive therapies are needed — which they don’t offer. But if you were to see another dentist like Grand Parkway Smiles for a second opinion, and they provide those therapies in their practice, you may find out that implants are a realistic option after all.
Not a Traditional Implant Candidate?
These supportive therapies can help even non-traditional patients enjoy the advantages of modern dental implant therapy.
Bone Grafts — One of the biggest reasons why people don’t qualify for dental implants is because they don’t have enough jaw bone to support them. Without a healthy foundation, there’s nothing to hold the implants in place.
Bone loss is usually the result of chronic gum disease (periodontitis) or going an extended period of time with missing teeth. Either situation causes the body’s own bone to resorb (shrink) and weaken in that area of the jaw.
Fortunately, a bone graft can help to restore some of the missing structure, making it safe and predictable to place dental implants in specific areas.
There are a variety of types of bone grafts, but they share a single characteristic: it can take some time for the graft to fully integrate and bone to be strong enough for the implant to insert.
Grafts are usually performed at the time of a dental extraction, or during an oral surgery (such as a sinus lift.)
Sinus Lifts — Do you need implants in your upper jaw? If you’ve gone quite a while with missing teeth, the nasal sinus linings may have “dropped” where your tooth roots once were. If you were to place implants in this area, they would rupture your sinuses in a manner where they cannot heal. Such implant cases generally fail, or the implant has to be removed due to chronic infection.
Thanks to sinus lift surgery, you can still get dental implants. An opening is created to access the sinus lining, which is then raised and a bone graft placed. This higher level of the mucous lining allows for the space needed for dental implants.
Gum Grafts — Finally, gum grafting is used in conjunction with bone loss to cover the dental implant, protecting it from external elements and minimizing aesthetic concerns. Gum grafts help to rebuild the soft tissue areas that may have receded from trauma, tooth loss, or gum disease.
Like bone grafts, there are a few different types of gum grafts that can be used. While tissue can be moved from one part of your mouth to another, it can also be stretched from an adjacent space, or draped over the implant site from an FDA-cleared medical donor.
Mini Dental Implants — As the name suggests, mini implants are a smaller version of the traditional version. While not available for every circumstance, mini implants play a special role in areas where a conventional implant may not fit, there is inadequate bone support, or it’s a non-weight bearing tooth.
Mini implants are also used for denture stabilization purposes. Removable overdentures can snap onto the mini implant abutment, eliminating the need for messy pastes or adhesives to keep it in place.
In most situations, mini implants only require one appointment for placement, making them a much quicker alternative to conventional therapy.
Zygomatic Implants — What happens if there is practically no bone support in your jaws for a dental implant, but you require full mouth reconstruction? With a zygomatic implant, your dentist can take advantage of other facial bones, specifically, your zygomatic arch (cheek bone.)
Although zygomatic implants are placed at an angle from your cheek bone toward the front of your mouth, the restorations (usually a hybrid denture of some sort) are still affixed straight on. Typically, there is one zygomatic implant on each side of your mouth, with two traditional dental implants at the front, making four total.
Not all of these services are offered by every dentist or even every dental implant provider. But having one turn you away by saying you’re not a candidate for treatment shouldn’t discourage you from seeking out the opinion of another dental practice in your area.
At Grand Parkway Smiles, we understand that every treatment plan is unique to the oral health and emotional needs of our patients — not just dental implants — and we strive to tailor your experience to be one that fits all your timeline and budget goals. When you need solutions, we’ll discuss every option available.
Opting for a Denture Instead
Maybe you have underlying medical conditions or a unique oral anatomy that still prevent you from qualifying for dental implants. That’s ok. Modern denture designs are more aesthetic and better fitting than ever. From creating an appliance that offers a non-surgical “face lift” of sorts, to handcrafted ceramics that mimic natural tooth enamel, your options exceed what has been available in years past. Same day dentures placed on the date of your extractions are another option to consider!
Get a Second Opinion
Grand Parkway Smiles offers comprehensive dental implant therapy and supportive services at our Richmond/Katy Tx location. Our team makes it possible to provide start-to-finish implant services for traditional and unconventional patients alike.
Schedule a no-pressure consultation to find out if dental implants are an option after all.