As you might know, Los Angeles dental implants procedures take a long time because of the healing period. Although the payoff is worth it since you won’t have to worry about missing teeth or constantly maintaining the implants the way dentures are maintained.

Dental implants also promote healthy gums and jawbone tissue because the tissues are stimulated hence preventing disintegration, especially of the jawbone.

Missing teeth lead to sagging of facial muscles making you look older than you are. Implants, therefore, replace tooth function and improve a person’s appearance as well. Some surgical procedures might be necessary before an implant procedure.

Bone Grafting

There is the possibility of needing a bone graft before an implant is placed. An implant consists of the metal root and the abutment, the part that connects to the crown.

The metal part is placed inside the jawbone so that it can fuse during the healing period. The dental implant specialist will suggest grafting if the jaw bone is too soft or not thick enough. Grafting involves a part of bone being removed from another part of the body and grafted into the jaw bone using a special grafting material.

It will take a number of months for the graft to create strong enough bone tissue. You can get a minor graft at the same time with the implant if the situation allows it.

Ridge Expansion

The bone ridge is responsible for holding the tooth in place. When teeth have been missing for a long time, the bone ridge can get reabsorbed and experience a decrease in height and/ or width.

In this case, the oral surgeon can physically expand the bone ridge using mechanical methods to increase the space into which the implant will be placed. This replaces the bone ridge dimensions in case the ridge is too thin to support implants. Ridge expansion might also require bone grafting.

Sinus Lift Procedure

A sinus graft is another procedure used by Los Angeles dental implants experts to prepare the jaw for implant surgery where sinus cavities in the upper jaw are utilized. Natural teeth in the upper jaw sometimes have their roots extend into maxillary sinuses located directly above upper teeth and behind the cheeks.

When removed, very thin sinus bone is left and cannot hold an implant. A sinus lift graft is performed in the gap of the missing tooth whereby the sinus membrane is lifted and bone tissue inserted at the floor of the sinus. After the graft fuses with the sinus bone, a front tooth implant can be placed.

Re-positioning Nerves

In rare cases, a nerve called “inferior alveolar nerve” which is responsible for feeling in the chin and lower lip has to be moved to create space for an implant. This is only done on the lower jaw where the any of the two back molars are missing. The oral surgeon cuts the outer cheek on the lower jawbone to expose the vessel canal and nerve.

The vessel and nerve are slightly pushed aside while the implant is simultaneously placed. The bundle of nerve and vessel is released and positioned back to the original position, now over the implant. It is considered an aggressive approach and less aggressive options can be considered.

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